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@theMarket: Politics Take Center Stage in Equity Markets
By Bill Schmick,
03:05PM / Friday, July 19, 2024
As temperatures climb to record highs throughout the nation, the financial markets feel their brand of heat as election fever takes hold with a vengeance.   Suddenly, value stocks, which have taken a back seat to the FANG/AI equity gang for months, are coming back into vogue. Semiconductor stocks, which have led the tech market higher for years had their deepest sell-off since 2022. Even Nvidia is suffering a bout of profit-taking.   Some are calling it the 'Great Rotation' where traders are taking profits on the concentration trade consisting of a handful of large-cap mega stocks and diving into financials, industrials, materials, and even regional

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The Retired Investor: Tax-Deferred Savings Accounts Set for Changes
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, July 18, 2024
Starting Sept. 23, there is good news for savers who want a fair shake when looking for investment advice. Let's hope that the new Department of Labor rules are here to stay.   If the DOLs are enacted, more professionals than ever before will be required to act as fiduciaries when clients pay them for investment advice on Individual Retirement Accounts IRA). This will add another level of protection to an instrument that for many represents a lifetime of retirement savings.   What, you might ask, is a fiduciary? It is someone responsible for managing money or property for someone, who must put that client's interests ahead of their own. Such a person (or

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@theMarket: Inflation Data Boosts Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:51PM / Friday, July 12, 2024
The Consumer Price Index was cooler than expected in June, while the Producer Price Index was warmer. Equity traders responded by selling winners and buying losers.   CPI inflation fell further than most expected as easing prices for gasoline and other staples like food and new lease rents cooled dramatically. That information might help the level of anxiety people are feeling about inflation. It appears that the price points of most staples have finally flattened out year-over-year instead of constantly going up as they have for the last few years.    Countering that good news, wholesale prices climbed 0.2 percent last month led by prices for services,

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The Retired Investor: Tariffs Can Only Do So Much
By Bill Schmick,
05:40PM / Thursday, July 11, 2024
Tariffs in America have been used to accomplish specific goals throughout history. Until the Civil War, tariffs were a revenue generator for the government. After the Civil War, they were used to protect U.S. industries and during the Great Depression, tariffs evolved as a negotiating tool between nations, especially after World War II.   In the postwar years, tariffs built stronger trade relations between nations. Reciprocity rather than protectionism or revenue was the guiding principle behind our trade negotiations with other countries and economic regions. That idea still holds sway under certain circumstances, but tariffs have become an offensive policy tool as

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@theMarket: Stocks Grind Higher Making All-Time Highs
By Bill Schmick,
02:17PM / Friday, July 05, 2024
It was another good week for stocks following another good month of gains. Granted, in this holiday-shortened week, the volume behind the positive moves was paltry at best. However, many traders will tell you that only the price pays.   The macroeconomic data seems to be coming in as the Fed had hoped, with some data showing a slight cooling of the economy and at least two months of better inflation numbers. Although the U.S. economy added 206,000 jobs last month, that was slightly down from 218,000 jobs in May. Average hourly earnings also increased, but below forecast as well. However, the overall unemployment rate did tick up to 4.1 percent, the highest reading in three

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