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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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@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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@theMarket: Market Beat Down
By Bill Schmick,
10:03AM / Saturday, July 16, 2022
Rising inflation, weaker earnings expectations, or the rocketing U.S. dollar, it is just a question of which of these negatives are hurting the markets most. Investors are frightened, but not yet panicked. It is time to pay attention.   Both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) for June 2022 came in hotter than economists expected. They are backward-looking indicators, but markets fell on the reports, nonetheless. Rising energy prices was the biggest culprits in both reports hamstringing consumers and producers as prices soared. Since then, the price of oil has dropped, although natural gas prices have risen, so we will have to wait and see how

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@theMarket: More Market Gains Ahead, But for How Long?
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, July 08, 2022
Stocks bounced again this week. Recession fears raised hopes that the Federal Reserve Bank might a relent a bit on their tightening program. That could be a false hope but was enough to provide a relief rally.   There is a higher probability that we could continue to rally in fits and starts. Exactly what does and does not gain will likely have more to do with what has lost the most in the last month. Energy comes to mind since we have seen more than a 25 percent decline in energy stocks triggered by a sharp decline in oil and gas. Commodity stocks have also swooned with some stocks experiencing double digit declines in the last month or so.      The

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@theMarket: Recession: 'Certainly a Possibility'
By Bill Schmick,
05:02PM / Friday, June 24, 2022
"Certainly a Possibility."    Those were the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during testimony to the U.S. Senate banking Committee on Wednesday, June 22. Investors took his warning in stride, instead of plummeting. That may indicate markets are ready for another relief rally.   Powell thought the U.S. economy was strong enough to roll with the Fed's punches of higher interest rates, and a shrinking balance sheet without too much trouble. It was the outside factors — the Ukrainian war, China's COVID-19 policy, and supply chain problems — that complicate the outlook. Avoiding the "R" word was

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