|@theMarket: Ben Does It Again|
06:16AM / Saturday, April 30, 2011
This week's pivotal event was Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's first press conference with the media. Judging from the price action in the stock market, Ben passed with flying colors.
The chairman provided a bit of clarity, reassuring the market that in June, when QE II expires, it will be a gradual process of monetary tightening as opposed to a sharp spike in interest rates. Clearly, he gave little comfort to the dollar bulls as the greenback continues its decline (down 8 percent year-to-date) while dashing the hopes of bears in the precious metals markets as gold and silver raced ever higher on a wave of speculative fever and inflation expectations.
Although both Bernanke and U.S.
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|The Independent Investor: Why Banks Won't Lend|
02:28PM / Friday, April 29, 2011
Then we'd own those banks of marble,
With a guard at every door;
And we'd share those vaults of silver,
That we have sweated for
"Banks are made of Marble" by Pete Seeger
Over the last few years, the Federal Reserve has practically given money away to any entity that calls itself a bank. Individual states are also trying, but so far the banks have just been hoarding this growing pile of cash instead of loaning it out. Why?
Two reasons come to mind: Banks are afraid of taking on lending risk. Burnt by the subprime mortgage debacle, they are now
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|@theMarket: Let the Good Times Roll|
10:56AM / Saturday, April 23, 2011
— B.B. King, Bobby Bland
It appears Monday's low in the stock market averages concluded this last little sell off. The decline occurred, courtesy of Standard and Poor's credit agency. It reduced its outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds from neutral to negative. Since then the markets have climbed back and are now preparing to test the next level of resistance.
We can credit some stellar earnings announcements, especially in the technology sector, for the turnaround in investor sentiment. Most investors were worried that the Japanese earthquake disruptions — especially in semiconductors
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|The Independent Investor: A Warning Shot Across Our Bow|
04:32PM / Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday's surprise announcement that the outlook for U.S. debt has been downgraded reverberated around the world. Global markets shuddered. Investors rubbed their eyes as they re-read the announcement and then hit the "sell" button. Markets declined by 1 to 2 percent. Yet, by the end of the week, stocks and bonds recovered. Was this some kind of false alarm?
First the facts: the Standard & Poor's Rating Services Inc.(S&P) has reduced the outlook for U.S. debt from "stable" to "negative." It did not change its AAA rating for U.S. federal debt nor does it plan to do so anytime in the near future. But it is potentially the first step in an actual ratings
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|@theMarket: Stair-Stepping Higher|
04:54PM / Friday, April 15, 2011
The best rallies are those that move up, take a breather and then move up again. That way markets do not get extended, the gains are fairly predictable, as are the pullbacks. It appears that is the kind of market we are in at present.
The S&P 500 Index reached a low of 1,249 exactly one month ago. It then soared 7.2 percent to 1,339 in the next 23 days. We began this pullback a week ago and so far have given back less than 2 percent of those gains. I would expect a bit more time and possibly downside before resuming our march toward 1,400 on the S&P.
If you are looking for excuses (as so many of us do) to explain the short-term gyrations in the market there are plenty of
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|Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $200 million for investors in the Berkshires. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of BMM. None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill’s insights.