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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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@theMarket: Markets Not Out of the Woods Quite Yet
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, October 14, 2022
Oversold, stretched to the downside, too bearish, call it what you will, stocks bounced from another bottom this week. How long can this rally last?   It was the first time the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell at least 500 points and then rose 800 points in one trading day. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ gained 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. The huge turnaround was even more impressive when you consider that this week's inflation numbers, the Producer Price Index (PPI), and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) both came in hotter than expected.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that in September the CPI rose 8.2 percent over the prior year and 0.4

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