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@theMarket: Should Be Good Month for Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
05:34PM / Saturday, December 09, 2017
The House passed a stop-gap spending bill averting a government shut-down late Thursday night. As a result, markets moved higher. We can expect more of the same until the next deadline, which is just before Christmas.    To be honest, investors have become so used to these eleventh hour deals out of Congress that the markets hardly budge when the drama begins. Dec. 22 is the new date investors will be watching. We will see whether a compromise can be reached on the budget for 2018 by then.   In the meantime, the markets will remain focused on the Republican tax deal. The hope is that a compromise between the House and Senate will be reached in time for

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@theMarket: Sweet Spot for the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:31PM / Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving weekend usually marks the beginning of a great seasonal run in the equity markets that continues through January of next year. There are some additional reasons why this year may prove to be a good one.   No one disputes the fact that we have had an unusual year for equities; all three U.S. indexes have gains in excess of 15 percent. That is more than twice the average gains of the S&P 500 Index on a historical basis. In addition, those spectacular gains have been accomplished without any declines of more than 3 percent all year. If that is not a record, it is pretty close to one.   The economy, unemployment and inflation have all been moving in

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@theMarket: Investors Underwhelmed by Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:07AM / Saturday, November 04, 2017
With great fanfare, House Republicans rolled out a tax reform proposal that they promised would get this country going again and invigorate business, while creating jobs and huge savings for the middle class. What are they smoking?   Clearly, the entire reform package was simply a smoke screen to reduce taxes for American corporations with the majority of benefits directed at the country's largest companies. For the individual, depending on what you make and where you live, taxes will remain the same or go up.    Several legislators used a postcard as a prop claiming your individual tax return will be so simple it will fit on a postcard. The reason is

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@theMarket: Markets Are Waiting for Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:48AM / Saturday, October 28, 2017
Stocks gyrated up and down this week as events in Washington competed with quarterly earnings results for investor's attention. Next week, we should find out more about both.   True to form, third-quarter earnings results have been in-line or better than expected. Over 70 percent of companies have "beat" earnings estimates, which is no surprise. Sales and earnings guidance have also been upbeat. For those unfortunate corporations who "missed" their targets on either the top or bottom line, retribution was swift and dramatic.   Some companies saw their stock price plummet 20 percent or more. And we are not just talking about penny stocks.

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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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