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@theMarket: Good Earnings Support Markets
By Bill Schmick,
03:51PM / Friday, October 29, 2021
Third-quarter earnings have cheered investors, sending markets to new highs. The bullish wave of buying was so strong that investors ignored the disappointing third quarter read on the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   Economists were looking for the economy to grow by 2.6 percent, but instead, GDP gained a mere 2 percent, which was the slowest rate in over a year. Economic activity was damaged by the Delta variant as well as continuing supply-side constraints. The market's reaction indicates that investors are looking through the weak number and expecting the economy to continue to grow.   It seems to be a question of demand versus supply. Yes,

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The Retired Investor: The Billionaire Tax That Wasn't
By Bill Schmick,
03:58PM / Thursday, October 28, 2021
This week, the Democrats unveiled a new plan to finance President Biden's "Build Back Better" legislation. That proposal, along with a 15 percent corporate minimum tax, has politicians scrambling to line up for or against the idea. Does it have a chance to pass?   Credit for the idea goes to the Senate's top tax expert, Finance Chair Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat. His plan is to target only people with $1 billion in assets, or who are earning more than $100 million over three consecutive years. This group would be required to pay capital gains taxes each year on the appreciation in the value of their assets. It won't matter whether they sell or hold

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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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