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@theMarket: Investors Await Inflation Data
By Bill Schmick,
11:03AM / Saturday, November 26, 2022
December could be a risky month for the stock market. A spate of inflation data, a European Union Russian energy embargo, and another Fed meeting toward the middle of the month, could determine the state of the stock market.   Traders are split between bulls and bears. The bearish view says that we hit the 4,100 level on the S&P 500 Index, and then we begin a decline that continues into next year. The bulls argue that the seasonal factors dictate a continued rally into at least January.   Many readers know where I stand. I have been predicting a market rise that could see the S&P 500 hit somewhere in the range of 4,000-4,100. That is the area where we

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@theMarket: Markets on Hold
By Bill Schmick,
10:31AM / Saturday, November 19, 2022
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then the Christmas holidays are upon us. Will Santa deliver coal, or will the stock market find gains in their stocking?   The bulls are expecting a pretty good market between now and year-end. Historically, the evidence is on their side, although there have been several years when the Grinch stole Christmas, stocks usually gain during the coming holiday season.   On the other hand, history has not been as reliable in predicting the market's direction of late. That is understandable, given the continuing presence of COVID mutations, a European War, soaring inflation, and rising interest rates. If the equity market

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@theMarket: No Pause, No Pivot, Says Fed
By Bill Schmick,
03:38PM / Friday, November 04, 2022
It should have come as no surprise, but it did. Investors were poised for a slightly less hawkish Jerome Powell but were once again disappointed by the Federal Reserve Bank chairman.   Chairman Powell and his Federal Open Market Committee's decision to maintain a course of rising interest rates for longer punctured this most recent bear market rally. The three major indexes dropped more than 2 percent and continued to fall for the remainder of the week.   There was nothing new in the FOMC statement, nor in Powell's remarks afterward in the Q&A session. To some observers, he seemed even more hawkish than usual. Sure, he conceded that at some point,

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@theMarket: Markets Consolidate Before the Fed
By Bill Schmick,
04:48PM / Friday, October 28, 2022
Traders are hoping for good news from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Nov. 2. Stocks have been rallying in anticipation, but the Fed has disappointed before. Will they do it again?   The bulls figure it this way: The economy is expected to weaken, at least moderately. However, the third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in a bit better than expected rising 2.6 percent versus the 2.3 percent expected. So, there is no real proof that the bulls are right quite yet.   As for the slowing of inflation, there is little evidence of that as well. The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE) is a measure of prices that Americans pay for

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@theMarket: Higher Interest Rates Pressure Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
03:31PM / Friday, October 21, 2022
It was a week that looked promising. The three main U.S. averages spiked higher, gaining almost 4 percent in two days on no news. The remainder of the week saw profit-taking. Blame higher interest rates and a stronger dollar.    The benchmark yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond has topped 4 percent this week and hit 4.3 percent on Friday. The greenback climbed higher as a result. It is about one percent below its year-to-date high on the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) of 114.78. As interest rates and the dollar continue to climb higher, stocks can still go up, but only to a point. We have reached that point this week.   The impetus for these rising rates is

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