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@theMarket: Markets Feel the Heat
By Bill Schmick,
04:17PM / Friday, September 25, 2020
First, the good news: there is only one more week until the end of the month. The bad news, however, is that October may not treat investors any better than did September. As my swabbie friends would say, is it time to "batten down the hatches?"   Let me say I take no joy in being right. During the last few weeks of writing, the volatility I predicted has come home to roost. This kind of correction is especially painful because in these times of great uncertainty, we could have at least pointed to the stock market, and our investments accounts, as one piece of good news.    As I wrote last week: "Investors, therefore, should be mentally and

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@theMarket: Investors Face a Rollercoaster Ride
By Bill Schmick,
03:56PM / Friday, September 18, 2020
Volatility returned to the stock market this week as the level of uncertainty increased on several fronts. Unfortunately, there won't be any definitive answers to what concerns investors for at least two months.   It is September, after all, and this month is notorious for inflicting pain on investors. Historically, October is not much better, and in a presidential election year it can be worse. While the financial media will provide their thoughts on just why stocks drop or rise on any given day, it is not much use to you.   The real reason for "why" will only be known after the fact. This week, the excuse for Thursday's and Friday's

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@theMarket: Markets Reach for the Sky
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, August 28, 2020
Credit the Fed for this week's bump up in the averages. Technology shares led the charge as usual, shrugging off a sinking economy, higher unemployment and no progress on another bail out. What else is new?   At the annual Jackson Hole Symposium of world central bank leaders, conducted virtually this year, Jerome Powell, the chairman of our central bank, took center stage. In his prepared remarks, Powell announced a shift in the U.S. inflation policy. Rather than using the oft-stated, long-held inflation target of 2 percent, the Fed will now "seek to achieve inflation that averages 2 percent over time."   What's the big deal, you might ask? In

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@theMarket: Market's Window Getting Smaller
By Bill Schmick,
04:29PM / Friday, August 21, 2020
This week the benchmark S&P 500 Index made a minor new high for the year. While that is cause to celebrate, the question to ask is how much further can we climb in the face of a slowing economy before suffering a meaningful pullback?   Over the last few months, investors have been warned by just about every economist worth their salt that the country needs another jolt of federal stimulus. It has not happened. You can cast blame on whomever you want for that failure, but none of that matters to the over one million American workers who lost their jobs in the past week.    Even the Federal Reserve Bank, in releasing its July 28-29 Federal Open Market

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@theMarket: The Economy Versus the Stock Market
By Bill Schmick,
03:57PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
It is a tale of two markets. One represented by stocks, which has experienced a "V" shaped recovery, while the other (the economy) appears to be describing a "W." Can the two continue to diverge?   The short answer is "yes," as long as the Federal Reserve Bank continues to support the financial markets with unlimited stimulus.  "Stocks are the only game in town," as one investor put it. "Bonds are yielding me less than nothing after inflation, and commodities are just too risky."   That sums up the present state of affairs facing investors.    The fact that earnings have been absolutely

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