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@theMarket: Stocks Should Move Higher From Here
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Friday, June 21, 2019
It was a good week for investors. The S&P 500 Index hit an all-time high. The Fed indicated that they might cut interest rates sometime soon, and the President is once again optimistic about a China trade agreement. That’s a heady cocktail that could see markets gain another 3-5 percent over the next few weeks.   Of course, the critical caveat to my forecast remains President Trump's next tweet on the progress of a trade deal with China. As you know, with such a big “if” on the table, making future forecasts with even a modicum of certainty is impossible.   In last week's column, I enumerated all the scenarios that could play out,

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@theMarket: Markets Expect Fed to Cut Rates
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
Investors can credit the Fed once again for the market's revival thus far in June. The buying is fueled by expectations of three rate cuts by no later than December. Is that wishful thinking?   While only 23 percent of investors expect a rate cut next week when the Fed meets, 83 percent do expect a cut in July. The odds of another cut in September are now at 63.8 percent, with a third cut in December, which is expected by over half of market participants.   Given that the Fed's job description is to keep inflation under control, while supporting robust employment, one or the other of those variables will need to change in order for the Fed to cut rates.

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@theMarket: When Bad News Is Good News
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, June 07, 2019
You would think that a non-farm payroll report that was way below expectations would give investors pause. After all, when the pace of employment slows, it usually means that the economy is slowing as well. So why did the stock market spike higher?   It comes down to what the Fed may do. Contrary to many investors' belief that tariffs (or the lack thereof) are the critical element in the stock market's fortunes, I believe the actions of the U.S. central bank trump Trump's antics on the trade front.    A look back to the last quarter of 2018 reveals why I believe this is so. While the press gave plenty of space to the on again, off again

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@theMarket: Have the Wheels Come Off the Market?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Friday, May 31, 2019
No question about it, the president's decision to impose 5 percent tariffs on all Mexican imports by June 10 caught investors flat-footed. Combined with the on-going war of words with the Chinese on tariffs, markets worldwide fell sharply this week. Is a relief rally in the cards?   Chances are that next week, we should see a rebound. How much and over what period of time will largely depend on what happens next on the trade front. My thinking on the Mexican issue thus far is this: Trump is using trade with Mexico to force their government to turn back (instead of encouraging) Latin American refugees from our border.   You may disagree, but I believe

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@theMarket: Markets Held Hostage by Trade & Machines
By Bill Schmick,
03:19PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
If it were not for computer-driven trading, it might actually be funny. Financial markets are careening up and down on a daily basis based on the next tweet or comment from the Trump administration or its counterparts in China. We could see more of the same next week.   Rhyme or reason has truly left the station. Day by day, the trade war of words is accelerating. This week, the U.S. banned China's largest technology company, Huawei, from doing business with American companies. The president accused the company of espionage. The Chinese responded by threatening to drop trade negotiations. Markets collapsed, led by semi-conductor and technology stocks.   A

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