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@theMarket: Markets Bet on Stimulus Sweepstakes
By Bill Schmick,
03:36PM / Friday, December 04, 2020
The first week of December saw all three major averages climb to minor new highs. The trigger was more good news on the delivery timetable of the coronavirus vaccines. The expected speedy distribution of the first batch of wonder drugs encouraged investors, even while the number of COVID-19 deaths and cases nationwide continued to skyrocket.   In addition, a new dose of hopeium has infected investors on the stimulus front. The Democrats $2.2 trillion proposal has gone nowhere since July, thanks to the Republican-controlled Senate. The Democrats then reduced their price tag in an effort to forge a compromise before the election, but the Republicans refused to spend more than

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The Retired Investor: Bitcoin Is Back
By Bill Schmick,
04:17PM / Thursday, December 03, 2020
After a three-year hiatus, cryptocurrencies have returned and are attracting the attention of investors. Will this time be any different?   Readers may recall the Bitcoin craze that sent the largest digital currency to an all-time high of $20,000 in 2017 and spawned numerous copy-cat cryptos like Ethereum and Litecoin.   You may also remember that all of them came crashing back to earth and ignominy where they have languished, unloved, until this year.   This week, Bitcoin hit a new three-year record of $19, 857. If that is news to you, there is a reason for that. After the last buying frenzy and subsequent crash, the financial media has taken a

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@theMarket: Market Cyclicals Take the Lead
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
It was a good week for investors, which is not surprising since Thanksgiving week has been kind to investors in the past. The question is, will December fulfill its role as one of the year's best months for stocks?   The short answer is yes, I don't see why not. My recent target for the S&P 500 Index is 3,800, but it is possible that I may be too conservative. An additional spike up to the 4,000 level might be in the cards sometime early next year, but one week at a time. What is the bull case for those lofty predictions?   I have long argued that a coronavirus vaccine was key to the economy and the market's future performance. We now have at

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The Retired Investor: Pandemic Has Been Good to Pet Industry
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sales are increasing wherever you look in the pet sector. Toys, beds, grooming products, leashes, day care, you name it; the pet industry is experiencing double-digit increases in revenue. Better yet, there are few signs that consumer spending in this area will slow down anytime soon.   As readers are aware, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The pet care industry is an exception to that rule. In the past, I have written extensively about how recession-proof the pet industry can be.  In both the 2001 and 2008 recessions, pet care sales grew between 5-7 percent. Consumer spending on pets has grown 36 percent in the

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@theMarket: Markets Are in a Tug of War
By Bill Schmick,
09:54PM / Friday, November 20, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging way beyond those cases earlier in the year. That could indicate tough going for the economy over the next two quarters. On the other hand, two highly effective coronavirus vaccines have been announced, but won't be widely distributed until next year. In the middle sits the stock market investors.   We know that financial markets are discounting mechanisms, meaning that investors usually buy or sell stocks based on what may happen in six to nine months from now. At that time, so the story goes, at least two vaccines will be readily available to most of the public. One may be ready for limited distribution before the end

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