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@theMarket: Politicians Play Cat & Mouse With Investors
By Bill Schmick,
07:58PM / Friday, October 23, 2020
It was a week of will they, or won't they. Both parties claimed to want another stimulus deal done before the election, but the proof is in the pudding and as of Friday, the plate is empty.   Investors may be coming to the conclusion that the latest negotiations between the Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republican U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was simply an election ploy. A way to set up the other side for failure, while making their own position look both caring and, at the same time, blameless. Both sides already knew that the GOP-controlled Senate had no appetite for another bail-out

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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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@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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@theMarket: Markets Feel the Heat
By Bill Schmick,
04:17PM / Friday, September 25, 2020
First, the good news: there is only one more week until the end of the month. The bad news, however, is that October may not treat investors any better than did September. As my swabbie friends would say, is it time to "batten down the hatches?"   Let me say I take no joy in being right. During the last few weeks of writing, the volatility I predicted has come home to roost. This kind of correction is especially painful because in these times of great uncertainty, we could have at least pointed to the stock market, and our investments accounts, as one piece of good news.    As I wrote last week: "Investors, therefore, should be mentally and

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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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