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@the Market: Markets Need a Time Out
By Bill Schmick,
10:59AM / Saturday, October 07, 2017
The S&P 500 Index has gone up eight straight days. The other averages have done the same thing. That hasn't happened since 2013. It's time for a break.   It appears that stocks are in "melt-up" mode. That's a term we financial geeks use to describe an unrelenting rise in equity prices. Consider it an investor stampede where the fear of missing out on even higher prices creates a buying frenzy.   There are some fundamental reasons for the market's rise. The economy appears to be chugging along. Interest rates remain low while inflation continues to bump along the bottom. This Friday's payroll numbers were a disappointment to

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@theMarket: NK Missile Dud on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
The North Korean boy who cried wolf is alive and well, but seems to have less and less impact on financial markets. Kim Jong Un's minions launched another missile over Japan on Thursday night and the markets simply yawned.   Geopolitics are always a risk for the financial markets. For one thing, they are by definition unpredictable. Rarely do the antagonists worry about the economic and financial ramifications of their moves. As such, markets react quickly, but usually the impact only lasts for a short period of time.   It seems that even our tweet-happy president is learning that, in this case, Kim Jong Un, the boy in the wolf's mask, has a bark that is

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@theMarket: Markets Brace for the Weekend
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Friday, September 08, 2017
Usually, the weekend is a time when traders try to relax, reduce stress, and prepare for the coming week's markets. This weekend will be an exception to that rule. Just about everyone is focused on the latest news of Hurricane Irma's landfall in southern Florida tomorrow and into Sunday.    Over in Southeast Asia, analysts are also expecting North Korea to fire off yet another missile. Exactly where and when is up in the air.   As if that were not enough, an earthquake and Hurricane Jose both hit Mexico simultaneously last night causing quite a lot of damage. Investors have no idea what economic impact these natural disasters will have on the North

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@themarket: Global Interest Rates Rise, Global Stocks Fall
By Bill Schmick,
11:05AM / Saturday, July 08, 2017
It is something we really haven't seen in quite some time. Back in the day, before the financial crisis, interest rates and stocks most often moved in opposite directions. This week investors got a taste of what the future might hold.   U.S Treasury yields on the 10-year note (the benchmark average) ticked up to 2.39 percent at one point. Across the pond, the German Bund (their benchmark) rose .5 percent. Those were big moves in the debt world. Why are interest rates on the rise all of a sudden after years of declines?   Some would say it just had to happen. Global central bank policy has just been too loose for too long. I don't necessarily agree with

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@theMarket: Markets in Pullback Mode
By Bill Schmick,
05:31PM / Friday, June 16, 2017
Technology stocks continued to consolidate while the Dow made new highs and the S&P 500 Index hovered just below historical highs. Throw in the fact that the markets are notoriously slow and biased to the downside during the summer months, and you have a recipe for further consolidation.   That does not necessarily mean that we will see some sharp and painful correction in stocks. My regular readers understand that the averages could simply move sideways for a month or two before resuming their upward climb. However, within those averages, individual stocks and sectors could experience much deeper declines.   Take the present decline in the technology-laden

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