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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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@theMarket: Stocks Fall as Congress Fails to Act
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Friday, July 31, 2020
It should come as no surprise that our politicians failed to compromise on a new bailout package this week. It is symptomatic of a country that suffers from a great philosophical divide. The only entity that investors can truly believe in is the Fed. Keep the faith.   Chairman Jerome Powell, in his Thursday press conference after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, said the path forward is "extraordinarily uncertain." As such, our central bank will remain accommodating, he promised, which means the financial markets will continue to be supported going forward.   Readers should remember that.  Over the long term, I plan to remain

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