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@theMarket: Markets Are in a Tug of War
By Bill Schmick,
09:54PM / Friday, November 20, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging way beyond those cases earlier in the year. That could indicate tough going for the economy over the next two quarters. On the other hand, two highly effective coronavirus vaccines have been announced, but won't be widely distributed until next year. In the middle sits the stock market investors.   We know that financial markets are discounting mechanisms, meaning that investors usually buy or sell stocks based on what may happen in six to nine months from now. At that time, so the story goes, at least two vaccines will be readily available to most of the public. One may be ready for limited distribution before the end

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@theMarket: Vaccine Hopes Send Stocks Higher
By Bill Schmick,
02:11PM / Friday, November 13, 2020
The first real hope at ending the global coronavirus pandemic was announced on Monday. Drug company partners, Pfizer and BioNTech, announced their COVID-19 vaccine, which exceeded expectations. The news sent world stock markets screaming higher.   Later in the week, some profit-taking developed, but overall the news was met with relief and cautious excitement. Most investors expected the Pfizer drug would be, at best, 60-70 percent effective, so when the company announced it was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, stocks soared.   While this was great news, there are a few drawbacks to the vaccine. For starters, Pfizer can manufacture only a

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@theMarket: Markets Enjoy a 'Biden Bounce'
By Bill Schmick,
05:30PM / Friday, November 06, 2020
The nation spent most of the week wondering who won the presidential elections. While lawsuits, protests, and dueling press conferences occupied the airwaves and internet, global stock markets spent the time discounting the results. Have markets already picked the winner?   A Joe Biden win, with a Democrat House, and a GOP-controlled Senate was the conclusion reached by the markets on Tuesday. The "blue wave" that investors had expected and believed would unleash trillions of dollars' worth of stimulus, run up the national debt, and cause long-term interest rates to rise, was off the table. Instead, we would face at least two, if not four, years of political

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@theMarket: Politicians Play Cat & Mouse With Investors
By Bill Schmick,
07:58PM / Friday, October 23, 2020
It was a week of will they, or won't they. Both parties claimed to want another stimulus deal done before the election, but the proof is in the pudding and as of Friday, the plate is empty.   Investors may be coming to the conclusion that the latest negotiations between the Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republican U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was simply an election ploy. A way to set up the other side for failure, while making their own position look both caring and, at the same time, blameless. Both sides already knew that the GOP-controlled Senate had no appetite for another bail-out

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@theMarket: Investors Reduce Risk as Stimulus Talks Fail
By Bill Schmick,
03:27PM / Friday, October 16, 2020
Hope springs eternal, but even the most strident bulls threw in the towel this week. American politics took precedence over the country's economic well-being once again, as both political parties refused to compromise on a stimulus deal.   But it wasn't only politics that spooked investors. Across the Atlantic, investors watched as COVID-19 outbreaks escalated across Europe. Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy reported new records in infections, while France announced a curfew in order to stem their own skyrocketing cases. In the U.K., Londoners are now banned from mixing with other households indoors.   In this country, despite denials by a

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