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@theMarket: Stocks Are Signaling an All-Clear
By Bill Schmick,
05:55PM / Friday, October 22, 2021
The S&P 500 Index and the Dow have managed to pierce overhead resistance. This week, both hit record highs. It seems only a matter of time before the NASDAQ will follow but probably not before we have a minor pullback.   As of Friday morning, equities have managed to string together seven days of continuous gains. Do I hear eight? That is a tall order, because stocks are now overextended by just about every measure I follow. We could do with a minor pullback, or pause, before extending this rally higher.   Credit for the gains can be attributed to third quarter earnings results. The results have been much better than expected. The big fear was that supply

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The Retired Investor: The Fed's Key Inflation Gauge
By Bill Schmick,
03:42PM / Thursday, October 21, 2021
Inflation is worrying investors. Every new data point seems to be heightening their anxiety. Oil and other commodities are raging higher. The rate of wage increases is also climbing, but the most important variable the Fed is watching is about to move higher.   Housing and/or home ownership is one of the most important components of the U.S. economy. However, housing prices per se are not included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Instead, the CPI measures the cost of shelter, which is broken down between actual rents paid and the Owners' Equivalent Rent or OER.   OER is the amount of rent that would need to be paid in order to substitute a currently owned

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@theMarket: Markets Snap Out of Their Downtrend
By Bill Schmick,
03:09PM / Friday, October 15, 2021
It appears that we have established a range in the stock market over the last few weeks. The bears have not seen their worst predictions come true. My hope is that we leave this month where we entered it.   September 2021 was treacherous. Bears were calling for a 10 percent correction at a minimum. Bulls, already on the back foot after witnessing a 5 percent pullback in the indexes, insisted we had seen the lows. Since then, we had been bouncing back and forth in a range. This week, however, appears to be a game changer.   We have not re-tested the lows on the S&P 500 Index, which we hit on Oct. 1, 2021, at 4,288 (intraday), nor have we come close to the

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The Retired Investor: Barbie Gets Better With Age
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Thursday, October 14, 2021
Despite this new age of video games, electronic toys, and diminishing attention spans, children are returning to a toy that is almost as old as me. Mattel's Barbie doll is back and at the top of many holiday shopping lists.   Some of the credit for Barbie's new-found popularity can be attributed to the pandemic. The lockdowns and the subsequent search for things to keep children occupied had mothers remembering their own fascination with all-things Barbie. Buying a Barbie, however (at least until recently), had parents wrestling with several negative stereotypes. Leading the list was the doll's image of a whites-only toy that ignored the realities of the melting

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The Retried Investor: Golf Continues to Grow
By Bill Schmick,
04:40AM / Thursday, October 07, 2021
In 2020, during the midst of the pandemic, golf made a comeback. More than 24.8 million people discovered outdoor refuge on the links, last year and the popularity of the sport continues to grow.   Golf, as many have discovered, is an outdoor activity that has proven to be an almost perfect answer to the limitations of the pandemic. Players can get outside, exercise, and at the same time, socially distance themselves from one another. Last year the U.S. saw the largest increase in golfers (2 percent) in 17 years. This year, the number of rounds played was up 16.1 percent, compared to the same period in 2020, according to the National Golf Foundation. And with this increase

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