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The Retired Investor: Crypto Crashes (Again)
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 27, 2022
While investors focus on the losses that are piling up in the stock market, the cryptocurrency space has suffered far more. The bears say it has further to go, but that may depend on what happens to stocks.   Bitcoin, the grandaddy of crypto currencies, is trading around $36,900 per coin as of Jan. 27, 2022. It has suffered a 50 percent decline since its record high in November 2021. Ethereum, the second most popular coin, has dropped from almost $5,000 to $2,498. In total, the combined crypto market has lost $1.4 trillion over the past week.   At one time, crypto speculators argued that coins like Bitcoin danced to their own music and were uncorrelated with the

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@theMarket: Corporate Guidance Sends Stocks Lower
By Bill Schmick,
01:31PM / Saturday, January 22, 2022
Across several industries, corporate executives are guiding investor's expectations lower during this fourth-quarter 2021 earnings season. To me, it is just added another nail in the coffin of bullish sentiment.   Pick your poison. The money center banks earnings beat on the bottom line, but it was the commentary and nuanced forward guidance that dismayed investors. Airlines did OK, but also warned of tough times ahead due to higher fuel costs, and the Omicron variant. Companies in other sectors (such as Netflix) warned of thinner profit margins ahead due to higher costs, less demand and/or supply chain issues.   None of this should come as a surprise to my

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The Retired Investor: A New Female Fed
By Bill Schmick,
03:39PM / Friday, January 21, 2022
Just before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Biden announced three new nominations to the Federal Reserve Bank Board, two of whom are women. If the U.S. Senate approves, women would then account for most of the Federal Reserve Bank's seven-member board.   Lisa Cook and Sarah Bloom Raskin, if confirmed, would join Lael Brainard, who President Biden picked as vice chair, and Michelle Bowman, who is already a board member. In addition, Lisa Cook would be the first Black woman on the board. Women are still in the minority, however, if you include all the Federal Reserve Bank's regional presidents, but the board is where the voting power resides. All-in-all, I say

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@theMarket: Beware the Hikes of March
By Bill Schmick,
03:08PM / Friday, January 14, 2022
There is a more than an even chance that the Federal Reserve Bank hikes interest rates at least 25 basis points by the end of March 2022. Several analysts expect another three hikes by the end of the year. As an equity investor, this should concern you.   This week, both the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and the Producer Price Index (PPI) came in as expected. But "expected" does not mean anything like good on the inflation front. On a year-over-year basis CPI was up 7 percent, while PPI hit 9.7 percent for all of 2021.   And while economists debate whether inflation and economic growth will subside over the course of this year, the Omicron variant is

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The Retired Investor: No-Shows Threaten Economy
By Bill Schmick,
04:18PM / Thursday, January 13, 2022
Last week, economists calculated that almost 5 million workers failed to show up at their jobs. Given the present upsurge in cases of the Omnicom variant, that should come as no surprise. However, it clearly has Wall Street economists reducing their estimates of first quarter 2022 GDP.   Slower economic growth normally has a negative impact on everything from the stock and bond markets, interest rates and employment. How this will ultimately affect the economy in the months ahead is a question worrying every trader and portfolio manager in the financial markets.   The first warning sign that this wave of coronavirus infection was impacting business came during

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