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@theMarket: Markets Gain Back Half This Year's Losses
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, August 12, 2022
This week's decline in two key inflation indicators gave investors an excuse to buy stocks. At this point, we have retraced 50 percent of the losses from the beginning of the year. The thinking behind this recent move higher is that inflation is coming down, and the Fed no longer needs to maintain its super tight monetary policy stance. Is that a good bet?   That is not the case, according to several talking Fed heads that were trotted out by the U.S. central bank to address the markets on almost a daily basis this week. Even the most dovish of members continued to stress that nothing has changed in their thinking. To a person, each Federal Reserve member stressed that

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The Retired Investor: Can You Put a Value on Your Dog's Life?
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, August 11, 2022
Your elderly dog has arthritis. His breathing is difficult. He needs assistance to get up, and his bladder is failing. The vet bills are far higher than your own, and it is getting more difficult to pay them. "How much is too much?"   Some say there is a limit, others would be willing to go into enormous debt to prolong the life of their pet. The veterinarian technological and medical innovations of today make preserving your pet's life achievable. Vets offer plenty of ways to prolong life, even in cases of terminal illness.   Specialists abound who can offer chemotherapy, radiation, kidney transplants, drug trials, and much more. Given all these

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@theMarket: Fed-fueled Gains Support Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Friday, July 29, 2022
The markets embraced another 75-basis point interest rate hike by the Fed, even as the U.S. economy contracted for the second quarter in a row. Bad news became good news in today's markets.   It was not so much the hike in the Fed funds rate announced as part of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) meeting on July 27, 2022, as it was the words of Chairperson Jerome Powell in the Q&A session afterward. Although he really did not say anything new, the markets and the media interpreted his stance as more dovish, if not pivotal.   The bulls' argument is that the economy is slowing, inflation is peaking, and therefore the Fed is likely to slow,

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The Retired Investor: No End in Sight for Airline Agony
By Bill Schmick,
03:56PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022
Missing bags, canceled flights, stranded passengers, and interminable check-in times have made this summers' travel a nightmare. What's worse, the cost of travelling has exploded.   Consumers are paying an average 34 percent higher air fares this year versus last. The reasons why range from higher jet fuel costs, increased labor costs and sky rocketing demand among others. As the summer season progresses, it seems that the worse the experience gets, the more consumers are willing to pay.    If you watch the horror shows on the news, chaos abounds not only here in the U.S. but in the international airline system overall. Short comings in one

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The Retired Investor: Local Gas Stations Suffer From High Fuel Prices
By Bill Schmick,
10:34AM / Friday, July 22, 2022
Given the price jump in gasoline, you would think owners of the corner gas station are raking in the money. Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring, especially now that pump prices have been declining for more than a month.   "The national average price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped below $4.50 per gallon after touching $5 as recently as mid-June," according to Berkshire Money Management's Allen Harris. He goes on to say that despite the 10 percent decline, gas is still up 9.3 percent over the last three months. That brings the year's gain thus far to 36.8 percent    In an environment of higher gasoline prices, consumers are

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