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The Independent Investor: Is America Back in the Space Business?
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
If you were watching television this Thursday, you may have caught the launching of a low-orbit Spanish government-commissioned satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The difference between today and 25 years ago is that it was a private company called Space X, rather than NASA, that made it happen.   For old guys like me, space exploration was a big deal while growing up. Americans my age cheered and cried as the U.S. raced for space from the tragic death of the crew of Apollo One in 1967, to the first moon walk in 1969 (and no, I don't mean Michael Jackson). The work day would be put on pause as everyone watched the latest rocket launch from

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@theMarket: Markets Have Best Week in Five Years
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Friday, February 16, 2018
Stocks have had what is called a "V" shaped recovery this week. The indexes climbed every day at least one percent or more. Will it continue or ...   It wouldn't surprise me if stocks took a breather about now. A bout of profit-taking after the stupendous come-back we have had would be entirely reasonable. If the S&P 500 Index, for example, fell back 2-3 percent over the next week or so that would be healthy.   Remember, we are still in that period of the markets where investors are driven by the fear of missing out. As interest rates continue to climb and bond investors experience losses, the natural thing would be to sell bonds and buy

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The Independent Investor: Time to Hedge Your Bets?
By Bill Schmick,
03:41PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
Over the last few weeks, the threat of rising inflation has triggered a great deal of concern among investors. Given that inflation has been at a low level for a number of years, their concern may be justified.   Many market pundits were surprised by the wage data in the non-farm payroll report for December, which was released two weeks ago, Friday. In that report, wages jumped far more than most expected coming in at a 2.9 percent annualized growth rate.   Given that our central bank monitors wages as one of their key indicators to gauge future inflation, that number sent the bond and stock markets into a tizzy. Again this week, investors received another

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The Independent Investor: How to Handle a Pullback
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
The stock market is in turmoil. Several hundred point swings in the Dow and other averages has investors on edge. The indexes are suffering 1-2 percent point swings per day. How are you dealing with it?   Over the last several months, I have written several columns preparing you for this day. I thought it might be useful to give readers a refresher course on coping. Here are some useful tips on avoiding that worst of all reactions—selling on the lows.   Number one: do not check your portfolio. The more often you do, the greater the probability that you will panic and sell. Every time you check your investments in a freefall decline like this one, you will

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@theMarket: Higher Wages Clobber Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:59PM / Friday, February 02, 2018
@theMarket: Higher Wages Clobber Markets   Gains in a worker's paycheck are supposed to be a good thing, right? It means they can spend more, which contributes to growth in the economy, and maybe have a happier life. If all of that is true, why has the stock market swooned in response to Friday's labor report?   It's simple really. The non-farm payrolls report was another upside surprise. The nation gained 200,000 jobs in January, which is better than the 180,000 we expected. While the official unemployment remained at 4.1 percent for the fourth straight month, it was the growth in wages that surprised the market most.   Hourly wages

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