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The Independent Investor: What the Markets Missed
Bill Schmick,
10:49PM / Thursday, September 22, 2011
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As disappointed global stock markets plummet in response to the Federal Reserve's latest stimulus initiative, few investors are paying attention to what may be the Fed's real intention behind this new plan: mortgage refinancing.

For the longest time, I have been convinced that the housing market holds the key to economic growth (or lack of it) in the U.S. As such, I have been hoping against hope that one or more of a long line of presidential candidates would actually have the courage and intellect to recognize and address our main problem.

Instead, I hear how "we need to get America back to work" or "we need to roll back all these regulations that are preventing

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@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
Bill Schmick,
07:07PM / Saturday, October 16, 2010
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No, QE II is not the name of a cruise ship; although it might as well be, given the upward ride it is providing the stock market. The Federal Reserve is expected to launch another quantitative stimulus effort in early November and the markets are rising in anticipation of that event.

On Friday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that the central bank is ready to move if necessary to stimulate the economy. Investors are assuming it's a question of "when" and not "if" the Fed will move to buy additional U.S. Treasury bonds, mortgage-backed securities and whatever else they decide will provide additional impetus to a slow-growth economy.

In an election year, where

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@theMarket: Is September's Rally Stalling or Pausing?
Bill Schmick,
07:26AM / Saturday, September 11, 2010
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After opening the month with a 5 percent market melt-up, investors were expecting a follow-through this week that would take the averages higher. There was even talk of a possible break through the ceiling of this almost six-month trading range. Instead we only managed a couple point gain over last week's close on the S&P 500.

That was despite some "good" economic news on the unemployment front. Initial unemployment claims were down by 27,000 and continuing claims fell 2,000, the best in two months... The bears argue that not all states submitted employment numbers so optimistic estimates were used instead, in some cases.  They also point out that once a

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