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@theMarket: Inflation Is Running 'Hot'
By Bill Schmick,
03:26PM / Friday, June 11, 2021
May's Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped the most since 2009. That follows a similar gain over the past three months that has brought the total increase to 6.9 percent on an annualized pace.   That is the largest gain in 13 years.   Excluding the notoriously volatile food and energy components, however, the "core" CPI rose by 0.7 percent, which was still larger than the forecast of 0.5 percent. Readers might scratch their head when looking at those numbers, since excluding food and energy makes little sense to us, who are faced with weekly rises in both commodities.   The difference is that the price of chicken or a $3 gallon of gas

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@theMarket: A Churn at the Top
By Bill Schmick,
04:39PM / Friday, June 04, 2021
It was a sleepy week in the markets for the major averages. Stocks flirted with the old highs, only to fall back by the end of the week. Energy and a few meme stocks occupied most of the attention.   Crude oil spiked higher, nearing almost $70 a barrel (bbl.), pulling energy stocks along with it. Energy traders were heartened by the latest OPEC meeting. The cartel expects demand to outstrip supply by more than a million barrels a day for the foreseeable future. As a result, the members intend to gradually increase production as the global economy gathers steam. Most analysts expect oil to breach $70/bbl. before taking a break.   Certain stocks such as AMC and

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@theMarket: Inflation Fears Weigh on Investors
By Bill Schmick,
03:13PM / Friday, May 14, 2021
Most stocks took it on the chin earlier this week. Technology shares lead the rout, but it didn't take long before just about everything else followed tech lower. By the end of the week, it was as if nothing had happened. That's called "chop." Get used to it.   The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which investors use to gauge future inflation, took the lion's share of the blame for the downdraft in equities. Economists had warned that we should expect a higher monthly reading (0.2 percent) for April, but the data came in at 0.8 percent. That computes to a 4.2 percent price gain year-over-year and was almost triple the rate that anyone had

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@theMarket: Stocks Make New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
03:46PM / Friday, May 07, 2021
It has been the best quarterly earnings season in a long time. More than 87 percent of companies that have reported thus far have beat earnings estimates. That is a record and investors celebrated.   Last week, I mentioned that this earnings season has been a classic example of a sell-on-the-news. It has been especially so for companies in the technology sector, but not so much for investments in other areas. What, you might ask, does this say about the overall markets?   The most bullish interpretation is that we will continue to move higher making new highs after new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average made yet another new high yesterday, as did the

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@theMarket: Fed Signals Equities 'All Clear' But Markets Don't Care
By Bill Schmick,
03:58PM / Friday, April 30, 2021
Investors were bolstered by the Fed's message this week. Low interest rates and monetary stimulus will remain pillars of the nation's economic recovery for as long as it takes. Investors were comforted, but not enough to materially move stocks higher.   It was indicative that despite bullish news on a variety of fronts, investors ignored the good and focused on the negatives. First quarter earnings results, for example, have been better than good, but not enough to satisfy the bulls. Apple smashed earnings estimates, sending its stock price higher in after-hours trade, but the next day it finished down. It has been the same story for many of the market's winners.

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