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@theMarket: The Economy Versus the Stock Market
By Bill Schmick,
03:57PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
It is a tale of two markets. One represented by stocks, which has experienced a "V" shaped recovery, while the other (the economy) appears to be describing a "W." Can the two continue to diverge?   The short answer is "yes," as long as the Federal Reserve Bank continues to support the financial markets with unlimited stimulus.  "Stocks are the only game in town," as one investor put it. "Bonds are yielding me less than nothing after inflation, and commodities are just too risky."   That sums up the present state of affairs facing investors.    The fact that earnings have been absolutely

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The Retired Investor: Tensions With China May Heat Up
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Thursday, August 06, 2020
On Aug. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Premier Vice President Liu He, will be facing off once again; this time to review the Phase One trade deal inked on Feb. 15. Neither side is especially happy with progress so far.   From the U.S. point of view, China has not lived up to its agreement to buy $200 billion of U.S. goods over their 2017 purchasing level. Chinese imports of agricultural products are actually lower than the 2017 level, which is about half the level needed to meet their promised target of $36.5 billion. The energy purchases they promised have also fallen woefully short of their commitment. Only 5 percent of their $25.3 billion in

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@theMarket: Stocks Fall as Congress Fails to Act
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Friday, July 31, 2020
It should come as no surprise that our politicians failed to compromise on a new bailout package this week. It is symptomatic of a country that suffers from a great philosophical divide. The only entity that investors can truly believe in is the Fed. Keep the faith.   Chairman Jerome Powell, in his Thursday press conference after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, said the path forward is "extraordinarily uncertain." As such, our central bank will remain accommodating, he promised, which means the financial markets will continue to be supported going forward.   Readers should remember that.  Over the long term, I plan to remain

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The Retired Investor: How Much Are Your Children Worth?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, July 30, 2020
In the weeks ahead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants your children to go back to school. They say it is necessary because children need schooling from a social, emotional, and behavioral health perspective. No one disputes that, so why are American parents balking at the idea?   The short answer is that they are afraid for their kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that kids in a classroom are "super spreaders" of virus. Just think of what happens during the Flu season each fall and winter    Despite assurances from the CDC that death rates among school-age children are much lower than adults, they don't

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@theMarket: Bailout blues
By Bill Schmick,
03:53PM / Friday, July 24, 2020
Investors have been giving Congress the benefit of the doubt — until now. A long-promised second tranche of fiscal stimulus was supposed to be passed by the end of the month. The clock is ticking, but the horse-trading has just begun.    On Aug. 1, the rent is due for millions of Americans. The sunset of the $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits legislation, which amounts to almost 60 percent of their benefit, will have expired unless Congress acts. The GOP has dragged its feet for almost two months, hoping that the economy would bounce back, and relieve them of their responsibilities. The GOP and their leaders miscalculated.   Right now,

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