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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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@theMarket: Financial Markets Could See July Fireworks
By Bill Schmick,
04:05PM / Friday, June 28, 2024
The good news is that early in this coming month we should see new highs in the stock market. The bad news is that we could also see some downside as well.   The equity markets' grind higher throughout June has been achieved by fewer and fewer stocks. Most of the gains have been concentrated in ten stocks or less. There have been a few days where the other 490 stocks of the S&P 500 index managed to mark up some gains, but if you weren't in AI or Fang stocks, you underperformed by a mile.   I have mentioned this before in several of my past columns. As we push higher, a feeling of caution seeps into my bones. On the surface, there is nothing that I

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@theMarket: Handful of Stocks Key to the Markets' Direction
By Bill Schmick,
03:12PM / Friday, June 21, 2024
It was a slow week for news but that didn't stop the bulls from pushing the equity markets to new highs. But the number of stocks that are pushing stocks higher are fewer and fewer.   Day after day, and week after week. the S&P 600 and NASDAQ have made a series of new highs. Under the hood, however, just about all the gains have been led by ten stocks in the technology sector. Many investors saw no end to the gains and continued to pile into the Magnificent Seven and the AI Five. The stampede has been led by everyone's favorite stock, Nvidia.   This leading semiconductor stock now boasts more than a $3.35 trillion valuation. It is now the most

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@theMarket: Inflation Down, Stocks Up & the Fed on Hold
By Bill Schmick,
03:15PM / Friday, June 14, 2024
Stocks hit an all-time high as macroeconomic data supported the view that the rate of inflation was falling, even while the economy continued to grow. However, the Fed said it wants to hold off on interest rate cuts until they get some more data.   Both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) for May showed cooler inflation data. CPI came in at plus-3.3 percent down from 3.4 percent in April. Prices for some household items such as gasoline and bacon declined.   The PPI went down 0.2 percent in May compared with market expectations of a 0.1 percent increase and after a rise of 0.5 percent in April. Prices for goods fell 0.8 percent, the

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@theMarket: Bond Yields Higher, Inflation Lower With Stocks Caught in Middle
By Bill Schmick,
03:12PM / Friday, May 31, 2024
This week, bond yields across the board rose on the back of several disappointing U.S. Treasury bond auctions. However, the Fed's key inflation index, the PCE, for last month came in a touch cooler. It helped, but not enough to keep stocks in the green for the week.   Three bond auctions this week met with tepid interest from buyers sending bond yields to their highest levels in over a month. The scorecard on government debt sales was 0 for three as two-, five-, and seven-year notes worth a total of $183 billion faced a chilly reception from bond investors worldwide. Who can blame them?   As the months pass, the U.S. debt level continues to rise. All most

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