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@theMarket: Inflation Fears Weigh on Investors
By Bill Schmick,
03:13PM / Friday, May 14, 2021
Most stocks took it on the chin earlier this week. Technology shares lead the rout, but it didn't take long before just about everything else followed tech lower. By the end of the week, it was as if nothing had happened. That's called "chop." Get used to it.   The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which investors use to gauge future inflation, took the lion's share of the blame for the downdraft in equities. Economists had warned that we should expect a higher monthly reading (0.2 percent) for April, but the data came in at 0.8 percent. That computes to a 4.2 percent price gain year-over-year and was almost triple the rate that anyone had

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The Retired Investor: A Labor Shortage Solution
By Bill Schmick,
04:38PM / Thursday, May 13, 2021
The hiring boom that was expected in April 2021 fizzled. Last Friday's nonfarm payrolls report came in at 266,000 jobs gained compared to over a million expected. It was the biggest miss in decades.   Politicians and many corporations were quick to provide a ready scapegoat for that failure. They blamed it on the weekly payments of $300 in federal unemployment aid through September 2021, on top of the regular unemployment benefits paid out by the states. In short, the fault apparently lies with the Biden administration's stimulus package. If the president and the Democrats had not provided these overly generous benefits, more workers would be thrust back into the

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@theMarket: Stocks Make New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
03:46PM / Friday, May 07, 2021
It has been the best quarterly earnings season in a long time. More than 87 percent of companies that have reported thus far have beat earnings estimates. That is a record and investors celebrated.   Last week, I mentioned that this earnings season has been a classic example of a sell-on-the-news. It has been especially so for companies in the technology sector, but not so much for investments in other areas. What, you might ask, does this say about the overall markets?   The most bullish interpretation is that we will continue to move higher making new highs after new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average made yet another new high yesterday, as did the

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The Retired Investor: Are Inflation Fears Real or Imagined?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, May 06, 2021
If you have been grocery shopping lately, there is no question that prices and inflation are going higher. The same can be said for the price of a gallon of gas. But is it a transitory event, or are we at the beginning of an inflationary era not seen in decades?   Clearly, commodity prices, which are usually the harbinger of future inflation are soaring. Copper, oil, sugar, corn, steel, aluminum and lumber as well as many other food and material prices are hitting multi-year highs. But it is not just commodities that are seeing a price surge. Shipping costs are also skyrocketing. And there are parts shortages that are leading to higher prices, plus a global semiconductor

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@theMarket: Fed Signals Equities 'All Clear' But Markets Don't Care
By Bill Schmick,
03:58PM / Friday, April 30, 2021
Investors were bolstered by the Fed's message this week. Low interest rates and monetary stimulus will remain pillars of the nation's economic recovery for as long as it takes. Investors were comforted, but not enough to materially move stocks higher.   It was indicative that despite bullish news on a variety of fronts, investors ignored the good and focused on the negatives. First quarter earnings results, for example, have been better than good, but not enough to satisfy the bulls. Apple smashed earnings estimates, sending its stock price higher in after-hours trade, but the next day it finished down. It has been the same story for many of the market's winners.

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