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@theMarket: Market Cyclicals Take the Lead
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
It was a good week for investors, which is not surprising since Thanksgiving week has been kind to investors in the past. The question is, will December fulfill its role as one of the year's best months for stocks?   The short answer is yes, I don't see why not. My recent target for the S&P 500 Index is 3,800, but it is possible that I may be too conservative. An additional spike up to the 4,000 level might be in the cards sometime early next year, but one week at a time. What is the bull case for those lofty predictions?   I have long argued that a coronavirus vaccine was key to the economy and the market's future performance. We now have at

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The Retired Investor: Pandemic Has Been Good to Pet Industry
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sales are increasing wherever you look in the pet sector. Toys, beds, grooming products, leashes, day care, you name it; the pet industry is experiencing double-digit increases in revenue. Better yet, there are few signs that consumer spending in this area will slow down anytime soon.   As readers are aware, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The pet care industry is an exception to that rule. In the past, I have written extensively about how recession-proof the pet industry can be.  In both the 2001 and 2008 recessions, pet care sales grew between 5-7 percent. Consumer spending on pets has grown 36 percent in the

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@theMarket: Markets Are in a Tug of War
By Bill Schmick,
09:54PM / Friday, November 20, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging way beyond those cases earlier in the year. That could indicate tough going for the economy over the next two quarters. On the other hand, two highly effective coronavirus vaccines have been announced, but won't be widely distributed until next year. In the middle sits the stock market investors.   We know that financial markets are discounting mechanisms, meaning that investors usually buy or sell stocks based on what may happen in six to nine months from now. At that time, so the story goes, at least two vaccines will be readily available to most of the public. One may be ready for limited distribution before the end

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The Retired Investor: The Rise of RCEP
By Bill Schmick,
03:59PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Regional Comprehensive Economics Partnership (RCEP) is a trade pact that could change the global trade equation over the next decade. It is an example of multilateralism and free trade that could leave the United States in the dust.    The 15 nations that comprise RCEP represent about one third of the world' s population (2.2 billion people), and 29 percent of global gross domestic product. The partnership is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The RCEP is officially the world's largest trading bloc.   What makes this trade deal noteworthy, apart from its size, is the

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@theMarket: Vaccine Hopes Send Stocks Higher
By Bill Schmick,
02:11PM / Friday, November 13, 2020
The first real hope at ending the global coronavirus pandemic was announced on Monday. Drug company partners, Pfizer and BioNTech, announced their COVID-19 vaccine, which exceeded expectations. The news sent world stock markets screaming higher.   Later in the week, some profit-taking developed, but overall the news was met with relief and cautious excitement. Most investors expected the Pfizer drug would be, at best, 60-70 percent effective, so when the company announced it was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, stocks soared.   While this was great news, there are a few drawbacks to the vaccine. For starters, Pfizer can manufacture only a

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