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@theMarket: Markets Remain Range-Bound
By Bill Schmick,
04:18PM / Friday, July 20, 2018
It's the same old song. It has been playing over and over since the end of January. Higher interest rates, a stronger dollar, and, of course, the inevitable and meaningless stream of tweets from our Tweeter-in-Chief are keeping stocks range-bound. How long will this condition persist?   Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index have now posted their longest consolidation since 1984. The two indexes have been in correction territory for 113 trading days. That is a longer stretch than we have seen in decades — including the period of the 2008 Financial Crisis.   In 1984, it took the S&P 500 Index 122 days to emerge from the

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The Independent Investor: Tariffs The Next Chapter
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Thursday, July 19, 2018
Tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports were imposed, as expected, last week. China responded with $34 billion of their own tariffs on American imports. So far, this has been a zero-sum game. The question that investors are asking is whether or not the trade war will escalate.   I could say that this entire trade spat has been "much ado about nothing." The total amount of trade tariffs and counter tariffs don't add up to much given that China is a multitrillion-dollar economy. The war of words and threats between our once-allies, our antagonists, and the president, amount to much more.   Right now, Trump's statements would indicate he is

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@theMarket: A Wash-Rinse-Repeat Market
By Bill Schmick,
04:07PM / Friday, June 29, 2018
There was nothing to see in the markets this week, simply more of the same crisis news that may keep the media happy, but no one else. Tariffs and trade remain in the forefront and will continue to do so. What should investors do?   Just move on and enjoy your summer. The Fourth of July falls in the middle of the coming week with stock markets closing for half the day on Tuesday. As such, many professional traders will take the entire week off. Given that the Northeast faces their first summer heatwave as well, the corridors of Wall Street should be quite empty.   So whatever ups and downs the stock market may have next week will mean little to

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The Independent Investor: Currencies & Trade Wars
By Bill Schmick,
04:34PM / Thursday, June 28, 2018
What's up with the dollar? The greenback is strengthening and is having its best quarter since 2016 against an array of foreign currencies. Is this an accident, or is it something far more dangerous?   Economists will tell you that the Trump tariff crusade is responsible. New trade barriers, which the president is suggesting, would usually lead to higher prices at home, according to economic doctrine. Products we import would cost more, whether we are talking about steel, automobiles, or baseball caps.   As prices increase, so should the U.S. inflation rate. As inflation rises, bondholders will demand higher interest rates to keep up with inflation. In turn,

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@theMarket: Ignore the Noise and Profit
By Bill Schmick,
03:51PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
The world is in turmoil. The news is all bad. Trump is threatening to up the ante on tariffs. NAFTA is kaput. Our trade partners hate us. China won't back down and, if you have time to spare, you are reading about immigrant kids locked in Texas dog cages by order of the president. So why is the stock market holding up?   The fundamental reason remains the same. Under all the muck, there is and will continue to be a bid under the stock market. In past columns, I have explained why — corporate stock buybacks, M&A, higher dividends coupled with a strong economy and low-interest rates.   If you look at the technicals, which I do, every sell-off seems

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