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@theMarket: The Ides of March and the Market
By Bill Schmick,
03:02PM / Friday, March 05, 2021
It was a rough week in the markets. Investors were whipsawed throughout the week and finished down once again. I expect more of the same for investors this month.   However, I don't expect stocks to go straight down, find a bottom and then rebound. This downdraft is occurring at about the same time that markets sold off last year, but I do not expect the kind of severe correction we suffered through then. Overall, I am anticipating a 10-15 percent decline as I mentioned last week. Actually, as of Friday (March 5, 2021) morning we have suffered a 6.3 percent decline from the top on the S&P 500 Index futures contract. The pullback, by the way, is long overdue. I am

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The Retired Investor: Supply Chain Chaos
By Bill Schmick,
04:48PM / Thursday, March 04, 2021
Americans are used to purchasing products, either on credit or cash, and having them delivered within a week, at the latest. Repairing those products such as a household appliances may take a little longer, but not by much. The pandemic has changed all that.   Now, I am not talking about toilet paper. That was last year's problem. No, it's about some large appliances and the accessories and parts that are crucial to their inner workings. Take my 9-year-old refrigerator for example. The water dispenser on the outside door doesn't work. It's a problem that has been going on for a year now, and the part needed to fix it is "on back

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@theMarket: Higher Interest Rates Clobber Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
11:42AM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, a small, upward blip in the yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond should be of little concern to equity investors. But sometimes, when the conditions are ripe, even the tiniest spark can cause a conflagration within a speculative stock market.   As readers are aware, interest rates have been trading at historically low levels for some time. The onset of the coronavirus forced our Federal Reserve Bank to pin them even lower. Essentially, it is why the stock market has been having such a great run. Investors have been conditioned to just assume that, if anything, interest rates might trend even lower but not higher. However, during the last few

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The Retired Investor: SPAC Attack
By Bill Schmick,
12:37PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the hottest trends on Wall Street today is "special purpose acquisition companies" or SPACS. There is hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of a new SPAC, or the acquisition and merger of a private company by one.   It works like this. Even though they are called "companies," SPACs have no commercial operations, no sales, profits, or losses. All they have is a pile of cash. They received that money from investors in an initial public offering (IPO) with the promise that they would invest that money down the road into a private company with good prospects.   You are basically giving a blank check to a group of financial pros

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@theMarket: Stocks Versus Bitcoin
By Bill Schmick,
04:48PM / Friday, February 19, 2021
There was no contest this week. Cryptocurrencies took center stage as the stock market churned, chopped and gave investors a little indigestion. Welcome to the market's brave new world.   It appeared that Bitcoin was the answer to whatever ails you. Higher interest rates, the threat of higher inflation, weaker (or stronger) dollar, no problem just buy Bitcoin. By the end of this week, the crypto coin had chalked up a 15 percent gain and was trading above $52,000. Ethereum, Bitcoin's younger cousin, was also up 10 percent.   None of the financial market's usual suspects — stocks, bonds, or commodities — could come close to those kinds of

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