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@theMarket: Markets Gain on Hope & a Prayer
By Bill Schmick,
04:39PM / Friday, February 15, 2019
Investors remain cautiously optimistic that the wall of worry that has been plaguing us for months may now be crumbling. That's no sure thing, but at least we did have some good news this week.   While most investors were not expecting a repeat of last month's partial government shut-down, it was still a relief to see that issue put to bed on Friday. The president reluctantly signed the budget bill that Congress passed over his objections.   Granted, the president did not get his wall, although now he is threatening to get the funding by declaring a national emergency on our southern border. Whether there is or is not such an emergency, by declaring one,

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@theMarket: Markets Are China Dependent
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Friday, February 08, 2019
Profit-taking is a natural and expected part of the stock market. That's why no one should be surprised that this week we are witnessing a period of consolidation. It is actually a good thing.   Given that most investors need a reason to explain any market declines, this week's announcement that President Trump is postponing his meeting with Xi, his Chinese counterpart, was both a surprise and a disappointment. It shouldn't be.   Over the last few months, I have tried to reduce investors' expectations of an easy, one-shot, Chinese break-through on the trade front. The postponement is actually a positive, in the sense that both sides are taking

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@theMarket: The Fed Finds Religion
By Bill Schmick,
09:26AM / Saturday, February 02, 2019
After two years of tightening monetary policy, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank signaled this week that it was time to put their monetary tightening program on hold. The stock market soared in celebration.   As we closed out the month of January, stocks are gaining. The October-December declines that culminating in the "Christmas Eve Massacre," which were the worst in 80 years, are rapidly disappearing. Investors who were smart enough to hold fast should be made whole again by the end of this quarter, if not before.   That does not mean that the volatility that has beset the markets of late will fade away. Quite the contrary, I expect the wild swings in

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@theMarket: Markets Bounce 10 Percent Since Christmas
By Bill Schmick,
10:34AM / Saturday, January 12, 2019
The stock markets have gained almost one percent per day since the beginning of the year. If you had panicked and sold during the Christmas holidays, you are sitting in cash wondering when to get back in. Here is some advice.   Patience should be at the top of your "to-do" list. If you believe we are in a bear market, then the kind of rebound we are seeing in the equity markets is completely normal. Bear markets are characterized by waterfall declines followed by sharp, explosive upside rallies. Unfortunately, these fantastic trading opportunities are just that — trades.   If you are not living the markets every single moment, day-in, day-out,

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@theMarket: The Trump Dump
By Bill Schmick,
09:52AM / Saturday, December 22, 2018
The sell-off in stocks has now exceeded the 2016 decline. Investor sentiment is as low as it has been since May of that year. The Fed refuses to save us, and Donald Trump insists on his wall or he will lay off thousands of federal workers. Did I say Merry Christmas?   The reasons for this rout are well-known by now. The latest disappointment was on Wednesday when, contrary to investor's expectations, the Fed stood firm in their quantitative tightening agenda. For a more in-depth view of the reasons for their stance, please read my Thursday column "The Fed Stands Tall."   The markets expressed their unhappiness by declining 1.5 percent in the last

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