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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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The Retired Investor: The Rise of RCEP
By Bill Schmick,
03:59PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Regional Comprehensive Economics Partnership (RCEP) is a trade pact that could change the global trade equation over the next decade. It is an example of multilateralism and free trade that could leave the United States in the dust.    The 15 nations that comprise RCEP represent about one third of the world' s population (2.2 billion people), and 29 percent of global gross domestic product. The partnership is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The RCEP is officially the world's largest trading bloc.   What makes this trade deal noteworthy, apart from its size, is the

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@theMarket: Vaccine Hopes Send Stocks Higher
By Bill Schmick,
02:11PM / Friday, November 13, 2020
The first real hope at ending the global coronavirus pandemic was announced on Monday. Drug company partners, Pfizer and BioNTech, announced their COVID-19 vaccine, which exceeded expectations. The news sent world stock markets screaming higher.   Later in the week, some profit-taking developed, but overall the news was met with relief and cautious excitement. Most investors expected the Pfizer drug would be, at best, 60-70 percent effective, so when the company announced it was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, stocks soared.   While this was great news, there are a few drawbacks to the vaccine. For starters, Pfizer can manufacture only a

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The Retired Investor: Small-Town America Is in Vogue
By Bill Schmick,
01:53PM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
The on-going coronavirus pandemic has boosted consumer demand for small-town real estate. Whether that trend will continue with a vaccine on the horizon is anyone's guess.    In the meantime, it could be a godsend for those looking to retire and possibly downsize during this period. The obvious driver in this trend change has been the safety factor. The devastating carnage that occurred in the nation's large cities during the first surge of the coronavirus convinced many families to pull up stakes and find dwellings as far from the mayhem (and people) as possible.   Home listings in small towns jumped more than 100 percent this spring, according to

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@theMarket: Markets Enjoy a 'Biden Bounce'
By Bill Schmick,
05:30PM / Friday, November 06, 2020
The nation spent most of the week wondering who won the presidential elections. While lawsuits, protests, and dueling press conferences occupied the airwaves and internet, global stock markets spent the time discounting the results. Have markets already picked the winner?   A Joe Biden win, with a Democrat House, and a GOP-controlled Senate was the conclusion reached by the markets on Tuesday. The "blue wave" that investors had expected and believed would unleash trillions of dollars' worth of stimulus, run up the national debt, and cause long-term interest rates to rise, was off the table. Instead, we would face at least two, if not four, years of political

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