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@theMarket: Home on the Range
Bill Schmick,
10:08AM / Tuesday, September 20, 2011
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Over the last few months, the stock market has traded in a range that has confounded both bulls and bears alike. Now, we are fast approaching the top of the range once again. Will the averages disappoint once again or are we on the verge of a break out?

We turned to our old friend John Roque, technical strategist at WJB Capital Group, for some insight. Many readers know John either through these columns or because of his many appearances on CNBC and other media outlets.

"The S&P 500 Index has serious resistance at 1,220-1,227 and then 1,250," he says, "Meanwhile, support levels are 1,150, 1,100 and 1,050. However, 950 is not out of the question."

He points

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@theMarket: What If?
Bill Schmick,
07:25AM / Saturday, July 16, 2011
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This week the scales finally tipped. The phones began to ring and each call was roughly the same.

"What are the chances the debt ceiling won't be raised?"

"What happens if the politicians can't make a deal?"

"What will happen to my investments if the worst case scenario happens?"

Since the calls were coming in from Maine, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere, I'm sure you are all worried about the same thing. If, despite the odds, the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, 2011, the United States of America plunges into at least a technical bankruptcy. What will happen to the markets? The short answer is nothing good.

This

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Independent Investor: Time Is Running Out
Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, July 07, 2011
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By now we have reached our debt limit of $14.294 trillion here in the United States. As you read this, the U.S. Treasury is already shuffling bits of electronic paper around to stay current on our nation's debt payments. By Aug. 2 even this desperate farce will have come to an end.

The Obama administration's deadline is even earlier. By July 22, there must be a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling or else there will not be enough time to ratify an agreement before the beginning of August, when Congress begins its recess. The situation is serious enough for both parties to forgo their July vacations and work for a compromise this week in steamy Washington, D.C.

A new development has

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Independent Investor: Time Is Running Out For The Presidential Cycle
Bill Schmick,
08:21PM / Thursday, June 16, 2011
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Here we are in the middle of June, in the third year of a presidential cycle, and no one is talking of its historical bullish implications. Despite all the present gloom and doom about the economy and the stock market, here's something to remember. There has never been a negative return in the stock market during the third year of any president's four-year term since 1939.

Sure, there could always be a first time. And if you look at the historical data and compare it to this cycle, you can understand why. Usually, the year immediately following a president's election is negative. Barak Obama's first year, however, was extremely positive. The stock market lows were put in March of that

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@theMarket: Let the Good Times Roll
Bill Schmick,
10:56AM / Saturday, April 23, 2011
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— B.B. King, Bobby Bland

It appears Monday's low in the stock market averages concluded this last little sell off. The decline occurred, courtesy of Standard and Poor's credit agency. It reduced its outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds from neutral to negative. Since then the markets have climbed back and are now preparing to test the next level of resistance.

We can credit some stellar earnings announcements, especially in the technology sector, for the turnaround in investor sentiment. Most investors were worried that the Japanese earthquake disruptions — especially in semiconductors

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