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@theMarket: Markets Snap Out of Their Downtrend
By Bill Schmick,
03:09PM / Friday, October 15, 2021
It appears that we have established a range in the stock market over the last few weeks. The bears have not seen their worst predictions come true. My hope is that we leave this month where we entered it.   September 2021 was treacherous. Bears were calling for a 10 percent correction at a minimum. Bulls, already on the back foot after witnessing a 5 percent pullback in the indexes, insisted we had seen the lows. Since then, we had been bouncing back and forth in a range. This week, however, appears to be a game changer.   We have not re-tested the lows on the S&P 500 Index, which we hit on Oct. 1, 2021, at 4,288 (intraday), nor have we come close to the

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The Retired Investor: Barbie Gets Better With Age
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Thursday, October 14, 2021
Despite this new age of video games, electronic toys, and diminishing attention spans, children are returning to a toy that is almost as old as me. Mattel's Barbie doll is back and at the top of many holiday shopping lists.   Some of the credit for Barbie's new-found popularity can be attributed to the pandemic. The lockdowns and the subsequent search for things to keep children occupied had mothers remembering their own fascination with all-things Barbie. Buying a Barbie, however (at least until recently), had parents wrestling with several negative stereotypes. Leading the list was the doll's image of a whites-only toy that ignored the realities of the melting

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The Retried Investor: Golf Continues to Grow
By Bill Schmick,
04:40AM / Thursday, October 07, 2021
In 2020, during the midst of the pandemic, golf made a comeback. More than 24.8 million people discovered outdoor refuge on the links, last year and the popularity of the sport continues to grow.   Golf, as many have discovered, is an outdoor activity that has proven to be an almost perfect answer to the limitations of the pandemic. Players can get outside, exercise, and at the same time, socially distance themselves from one another. Last year the U.S. saw the largest increase in golfers (2 percent) in 17 years. This year, the number of rounds played was up 16.1 percent, compared to the same period in 2020, according to the National Golf Foundation. And with this increase

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@theMarket: Markets Are on the Cusp
By Bill Schmick,
03:11PM / Friday, October 01, 2021
It was another tumultuous week in the markets. Volatility spiked as events in Washington and around the world injected an atmosphere of caution and indecision among investors. I expect more of the same.   Welcome to October. A month in which I see a continuation of the last few weeks of uncertainty. The political circus in Washington, D.C., is not helping, and is set to continue making headlines in the days ahead. The debt limit controversary is probably the largest challenge investors face this month. Simultaneously, the battle between progressive and moderate Democrats over the passage of two government spending programs, will continue to monopolize investor's

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The Retired Investor: Out of Gas
By Bill Schmick,
04:19PM / Thursday, September 30, 2021
Winter approaches and with it a potential natural gas crisis. Areas of Europe are already scrambling to find the energy required to heat homes and continue their economic rebound. Could the U.S. be next?   Over the last year, prices for European natural gas have jumped by almost 500 percent. Natural gas prices on this side of the pond have also spiked by more than 100 percent this year. But it isn't just countries in the Northern Hemisphere that are feeling the scarcity. Parts of Asia, which are importing liquified natural gas (LNG) at record prices, are being forced to switch to coal and heating oil as LNG shipments decline. Japan and Korea are somewhat protected so

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