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@theMarket: Investors Reduce Risk as Stimulus Talks Fail
By Bill Schmick,
03:27PM / Friday, October 16, 2020
Hope springs eternal, but even the most strident bulls threw in the towel this week. American politics took precedence over the country's economic well-being once again, as both political parties refused to compromise on a stimulus deal.   But it wasn't only politics that spooked investors. Across the Atlantic, investors watched as COVID-19 outbreaks escalated across Europe. Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy reported new records in infections, while France announced a curfew in order to stem their own skyrocketing cases. In the U.K., Londoners are now banned from mixing with other households indoors.   In this country, despite denials by a

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The Retired Investor: China Leads Global Economic Recovery
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, October 15, 2020

There is a saying on Wall Street, "first in, first out," which aptly describes the experience of the world's second-largest economy this year. The coronavirus was spawned in Wuhan, China late last year, but thanks to the country's quick response, China has sprung back stronger than ever.

By almost any economic measure, China has not only managed to avoid a recession this year, but will actually see its GDP grow by 1.6 percent in 2020. To put that growth in perspective, the world's economy is expected to decline by 4.4 percent this year.   The startling Chinese recovery in the face of ongoing pandemic problems throughout the rest of the world, can be

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@theMarket: One way or Another, Markets Expect More Stimulus
By Bill Schmick,
07:32PM / Friday, October 09, 2020
As the U.S. presidential elections approach, politics are becoming a bigger factor in what is moving the stock market. Some investors are already betting on the winner, and positioning their portfolios for an expected outcome. It is a risky bet to make.   As of this week, many on Wall Street are positioning for what they expect will be a "Blue Wave" where both houses of Congress and the next presidency of the United States will be captured by the Democratic Party. What, you may ask, is their reasoning, aside from partisanship?    Well, the number of polls that put Joe Biden in a widening lead, for one thing, as well as waning support for

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The Retired Investor: U.S. Moves to Nail Down Strategic Metals
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Thursday, October 08, 2020
Rare-earth minerals, with names like cerium, dysprosium and gadolinium have become "must have" materials in the global race to win the technology battles of the future. The problem is that throughout the last 30 years China has built a near monopoly in these strategic metals.   Rare-earth elements (REEs), consisting of 17 different minerals, are used to make components in many high-technology devices, including smart phones, digital cameras, computer hard discs, fluorescent and light-emitting-diode (LED) lights, flatscreen televisions, computer monitors, and electronic displays. China commands 35 percent of the world's reserves of these minerals and produces

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The Retired Investor: Halloween Could Be the Holiday Test Case
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, October 01, 2020
As October begins, mountains of candy have become a fixture in every store and supermarket. Halloween is the first in a series of fall into winter holidays. The candy companies are hoping it's going to be business as usual this year, but that depends on who comes to your door.    Whether it is trick-or-treating or costume parties, no one wants a visit from this year's most fearsome of monsters—the coronavirus. Worried parents wonder if this unwanted guest will be hiding among those candy wrappers, or in the noses, hands and mouths of excited children (or the parents and guardians accompanying them). Will one cough undo months of masks and safe

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