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@theMarket: Tariff Threat Unsettles Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:26PM / Friday, August 02, 2019
Donald Trump's announcement on Thursday that an additional 10 percent tariff will be levied on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S. on September 1 did not sit well with investors. The news could very well trigger the stock market decline that I have been expecting.   Regular readers know that I have been waiting for a 5-7 percent pullback in the markets fairly soon. Since the first two weeks of August are usually a bad time in the markets, the pullback this week might be right on cue.    In my last column, I also explained in some detail how it appeared that Donald Trump had no intention of negotiating in good faith with the Chinese

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@theMarket: All Eyes on the Fed
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, July 26, 2019
It was a week of chop. That was to be expected, given it was the first week of second-quarter earnings results. While some individual big-name stocks made substantial moves, the overall indexes traded up and down but ended the week about where they started.   It was largely what I predicted would happen. The same will apply to this coming week with all eyes intently focused on the July 31 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee taking place next Wednesday. Investors expect the Fed to cut the Fed Funds interest rate by at least one quarter percent. Let's hope they do.   In the meantime, aside from earnings announcements, investors were confronted with

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@theMarket: Looking Ahead
By Bill Schmick,
03:58PM / Friday, July 05, 2019
Will the second half of the year be as good as the first half for the markets?   The S&P 500 Index finished up 18 percent for the six months ending June 30. That was the best first half since 1997. Historically, that kind of return is three times the gains investors can normally expect from the market in an average year. The chance of a repeat performance in the next six months is, at best, remote.   That doesn't necessarily mean this is as good as it gets for stock investors. My near-term target for the S&P 500 Index is somewhere around 3,050, which is a further 4 percent gain from here. From my vantage point, as long as interest rates continue to

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@theMarket: G-20 Weighs on Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
05:06PM / Friday, June 28, 2019
It wouldn't be a normal weekend in the financial markets without something to worry about. This weekend, it is the meeting of the two presidents, Trump and Xi, in Japan with $350 billion in new tariffs hanging on the outcome. What are the odds that they clinch a deal?   Not great, in my opinion. That doesn't necessarily mean that we need to brace for a worldwide economy-killing deluge of massive tariffs and counter-tariffs either. There is too much at stake for Donald Trump and China knows it. Instead, I expect we will get a classic Trumpian foreign policy "speak loudly and carry a little stick" maneuver.   Robert Lighthizer, our U.S. trade

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@theMarket: Stocks Should Move Higher From Here
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Friday, June 21, 2019
It was a good week for investors. The S&P 500 Index hit an all-time high. The Fed indicated that they might cut interest rates sometime soon, and the President is once again optimistic about a China trade agreement. That’s a heady cocktail that could see markets gain another 3-5 percent over the next few weeks.   Of course, the critical caveat to my forecast remains President Trump's next tweet on the progress of a trade deal with China. As you know, with such a big “if” on the table, making future forecasts with even a modicum of certainty is impossible.   In last week's column, I enumerated all the scenarios that could play out,

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