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The Retired Investor: Out of Gas
By Bill Schmick,
04:19PM / Thursday, September 30, 2021
Winter approaches and with it a potential natural gas crisis. Areas of Europe are already scrambling to find the energy required to heat homes and continue their economic rebound. Could the U.S. be next?   Over the last year, prices for European natural gas have jumped by almost 500 percent. Natural gas prices on this side of the pond have also spiked by more than 100 percent this year. But it isn't just countries in the Northern Hemisphere that are feeling the scarcity. Parts of Asia, which are importing liquified natural gas (LNG) at record prices, are being forced to switch to coal and heating oil as LNG shipments decline. Japan and Korea are somewhat protected so

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@theMarket: The Dip Buyers Return
By Bill Schmick,
03:54PM / Friday, September 24, 2021
Last week, investors suffered through the gloom and doom of a declining market. Many Wall Street equity strategists added to the angst by predicting terrible times ahead. I begged to differ, counting on dip buyers to save the day once again. And that is exactly what happened.   In case you missed it, last Friday, the S&P 500 Index was at an important level, hovering just below its 50 Day Moving Average (DMA). This had happened several times before since March 2020, and each time buyers appeared to "buy the dip."    "I suspect they will again," I wrote, "so, no, I won't get bearish quite yet. I will go the other way and

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The Retired Investor: Weather Worsens Global Trade
By Bill Schmick,
05:46PM / Thursday, September 23, 2021
Changes in climate are impacting a global economy that is fighting to recover from a pandemic. Supply chain bottlenecks continue to worsen as continuous weather-related catastrophes close ports, and snarl land, sea, and air transportation routes. Can it get any worse?   Yes, and it probably will, according to climate experts. Nearly all actively publishing climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change. The less than 2 percent of experts that disagree have published contrarian studies that either cannot be replicated or contain errors. I'll go with the consensus on this issue.   Here in the U.S., we receive ample proof of

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@theMarket: Markets Enter the Danger Zone
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Friday, September 17, 2021
It has been a bumpy week for stocks, and it could get worse if you believe the headlines of the financial press. The issue I see is that just about everyone is expecting a nasty period ahead for equities. That makes me somewhat bullish.   Calling short-term market moves in this environment is akin to fortune-telling. It is short on analysis, and long on my gut feelings. Granted, I too, have been warning folks that the September-October 2021 time period has been a seasonally difficult time for equities. My column last week addressed the possibility of a 5-10 percent correction, and what investors should do about it.   The media has now proclaimed that we are

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The Retired Investor: Moderates Winning on Tax Debate
By Bill Schmick,
04:57PM / Thursday, September 16, 2021
For months, wealthy U.S. taxpayers and corporations have been living with the specter of higher taxes under the Biden administration. It is a pretty good bet that taxes will go up, but not as much as you might expect.   Throughout the week, Democrats in the House and the Senate have been horse-trading over the amount of spending versus the amount of taxes necessary to pay for President Biden's $2.3 trillion budget plan. Republicans are already on record that they will oppose any new tax hikes at all.   Since the Democrats hold such a slim majority in both the House and the Senate, any legislation will need to accommodate both moderates and progressives

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