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@theMarket: Stocks Fall as Congress Fails to Act
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Friday, July 31, 2020
It should come as no surprise that our politicians failed to compromise on a new bailout package this week. It is symptomatic of a country that suffers from a great philosophical divide. The only entity that investors can truly believe in is the Fed. Keep the faith.   Chairman Jerome Powell, in his Thursday press conference after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, said the path forward is "extraordinarily uncertain." As such, our central bank will remain accommodating, he promised, which means the financial markets will continue to be supported going forward.   Readers should remember that.  Over the long term, I plan to remain

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The Retired Investor: How Much Are Your Children Worth?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, July 30, 2020
In the weeks ahead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants your children to go back to school. They say it is necessary because children need schooling from a social, emotional, and behavioral health perspective. No one disputes that, so why are American parents balking at the idea?   The short answer is that they are afraid for their kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that kids in a classroom are "super spreaders" of virus. Just think of what happens during the Flu season each fall and winter    Despite assurances from the CDC that death rates among school-age children are much lower than adults, they don't

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@theMarket: Bailout blues
By Bill Schmick,
03:53PM / Friday, July 24, 2020
Investors have been giving Congress the benefit of the doubt — until now. A long-promised second tranche of fiscal stimulus was supposed to be passed by the end of the month. The clock is ticking, but the horse-trading has just begun.    On Aug. 1, the rent is due for millions of Americans. The sunset of the $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits legislation, which amounts to almost 60 percent of their benefit, will have expired unless Congress acts. The GOP has dragged its feet for almost two months, hoping that the economy would bounce back, and relieve them of their responsibilities. The GOP and their leaders miscalculated.   Right now,

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The Retired Investor: The Weakening Dollar
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
Sometimes, investors are so focused on the trees that they miss the forest entirely. Take the U.S. dollar, for example. It has been declining at an alarming rate, yet no one seems to care.   Today, investors are occupied by a number of trees — earnings, stock prices, dividends, earnings results — that a weakening currency is almost an afterthought. Unfortunately, if the dollar continues to weaken, it could radically change your investment choices.    Most readers, in general, believe a strong dollar reflects a strong economy. The fact that it makes our exports more expensive, and imports cheaper, is also true. A strong dollar, in the past, has

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@theMarket: Vaccine-Driven Markets
By Bill Schmick,
02:13PM / Saturday, July 18, 2020
Investors are caught in a tug of war. On one side are the growing cases of COVID-19 throughout the country. On the other, the expectations that a virus cure, or at least a vaccine, is just around the corner. The market remains in the middle.   That's all you need to know to understand what happened to stocks this week. Two different announcements concerning vaccine progress had traders bid up stocks. The daily toll of deaths and cases, the slowing of the re-opening process, and the controversy over the coming school plans, all had a dampening effect on markets as well.    The quarterly corporate earnings season is also upon us. Management's guidance

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