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@theMarket: Home on the Range
Bill Schmick,
10:08AM / Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Over the last few months, the stock market has traded in a range that has confounded both bulls and bears alike. Now, we are fast approaching the top of the range once again. Will the averages disappoint once again or are we on the verge of a break out?

We turned to our old friend John Roque, technical strategist at WJB Capital Group, for some insight. Many readers know John either through these columns or because of his many appearances on CNBC and other media outlets.

"The S&P 500 Index has serious resistance at 1,220-1,227 and then 1,250," he says, "Meanwhile, support levels are 1,150, 1,100 and 1,050. However, 950 is not out of the question."

He points

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Independent Investor: Enough Already!
Bill Schmick,
12:11PM / Friday, July 29, 2011

All week the markets have hung on every word coming out of Washington. Nothing else has mattered: not earnings, not Europe's problems, not even the second coming of Christ could have distracted investors. Now that both political parties have achieved what they wanted, let's please stop the monkey business before it's too late.

Credit Suisse, a global broker/investment banker, said on Thursday that in the unlikely event that the U.S. defaults on its debt, the economy could contract by 5 percent and the stock market could lose one third of its value. Although I believe that is an extreme view, the entire mess over the debt ceiling is causing hesitation and delay among the nation's business

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@theMarket: What If?
Bill Schmick,
07:25AM / Saturday, July 16, 2011

This week the scales finally tipped. The phones began to ring and each call was roughly the same.

"What are the chances the debt ceiling won't be raised?"

"What happens if the politicians can't make a deal?"

"What will happen to my investments if the worst case scenario happens?"

Since the calls were coming in from Maine, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere, I'm sure you are all worried about the same thing. If, despite the odds, the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, 2011, the United States of America plunges into at least a technical bankruptcy. What will happen to the markets? The short answer is nothing good.

This

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@theMarket: Jobless Number Spoils the Party
Bill Schmick,
07:49AM / Saturday, July 09, 2011

Up until Friday's disappointing unemployment numbers, the stock market appeared ready to regain the year's high all in one week. However, the ugly news that the nation hired a meager 18,000 of our unemployed dashed investor's hopes that the economy might be gaining strength in the second half.

Equities plummeted across the board, as did commodities, while Treasury bonds and gold provided safe havens for worried investors. The Republicans were quick to call a news conference highlighting the Obama administration's failure to create jobs while providing platitudes on how to get America back to work. Unfortunately, neither party has come up with anything close to effective in combating

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