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@theMarket: Phase One Deal Keeps Markets Bullish
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 08, 2019
It was all about the trade deal this week. Both sides seem to want a resolution to the crippling tariffs that have sent the world's economies to the brink of recession. The relief that investors feel is reflected in the new highs we are enjoying at the moment.   I say "at the moment" because anything can change with a tweet. However, given the mounting problems of the Trump presidency, I believe he needs something positive (and fairly soon) to divert the nation's attention away from the impeachment hearings next week.   Trump appears willing to drop, or at least roll back, some (or all) of the tariffs he put in place, but he can't be seen

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@theMarket: Will Record Highs Beget Record Highs?
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Friday, November 01, 2019
As third-quarter earnings wind down, the Fed cut interest rates again this week. Since both events seemingly matched investor expectations, what, then, will investors worry about in the coming months?   As predicted, the S&P 500 Index hit a modest new high this week based on the central bank's one quarter-point cut of the short-term Federal Funds interest rate on Wednesday. Robust earnings from certain favored companies, like Apple and Facebook, also helped sentiment and so the averages ground higher.   "You would think," said one miffed investor, "that after two years trapped in a trading range, we would have had a little more enthusiasm

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@theMarket: Earnings Give Mixed Signals
By Bill Schmick,
03:57PM / Friday, October 25, 2019
So far, third-quarter earnings results have been all over the place. A mixed bag of beats, in-line numbers, and some big disappointments have kept the stock market treading water.   Companies such as Caterpillar, with large exposure to China, came in with lower than expected results. Boeing, another big Dow stock, also reported a 50 percent slide in earnings thanks to the problems generated by two crashes of their 737 Max aircraft. And yet, both stocks rallied on the news.   Semiconductor company Texas Instruments also issued poor earnings, sales, and guidance, but in this case, investors not only punished the stock but trashed the entire semiconductor sector

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@theMarket: Markets Await a Brexit Vote
By Bill Schmick,
10:56AM / Saturday, October 19, 2019
Great Britain's House of Parliament is voting on yet another proposal to exit the European Union this weekend. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the President of the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, have a tentative agreement, there is no guarantee parliament will vote for it.   In this world of binary events, financial markets are looking at the vote as a black or white outcome. Parliament votes yes and the British pound, world stock markets, and the European Union (EU) celebrates. If, as they have done in the past, the British politicians vote no, then gloom and doom will likely beset the markets.   My own opinion is that a no vote will simply

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@theMarket: Stocks Soar on 'Skinny' Deal
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Friday, October 11, 2019
Global markets regained their footing this week, as expected good news on the trade front produced a "relief" rally in equities. Who cared that there was little substance to the deal? Investors decided that even a tiny deal was worth more than no deal at all.   As I wrote last week if "Trump believes he needs a 'win' to counter the slowing economy and the impeachment inquiry, then even a half-hearted deal might be in the cards. In which case, we could see a 10-15 percent move higher in the averages."   But before we pop the champagne, I want to see exactly what the trade deal agreement actually says. So far, we know that both sides

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