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We are in the midst of a nasty and devastating bear market, with major U.S. indices down as much as 42% this year. Where it will end is still uncertain, as a firm bottom has yet to be established. In fact, we are witnessing a global slump. Bear…

Big day for the stock market yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped a remarkable 11% in a single day. Such a gain only happened one other time in the past 70 years, on October 13 of this ear. So is this the bottom: should you start buying…

With all the big moves in the main stock market averages, attention is being taken away from third-quarter earnings. It's very easy to take your eye off the ball by focusing on the headlines. However, one company I've written about extensively in this column continues to deliver excellent…

It's a rare find now to have a stock going up in this market, especially if that stock is a micro-cap. A lot of investors are now extremely risk-averse and not just plain uninterested in taking on new positions in equities. This makes the opportunities better for speculators…

In times like these -- when we see the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 400 points one day and down 400 points the next day, when we see 1,000 point swings by the Dow in a single day – volatility reigns.  Stocks go up for only one reason:…

Trading continues to be in the trenches, as the bulls and bears slug it out for direction in this market that continues to be characterized by high risk. Yet there was some positive news from several key technology companies on Thursday that is encouraging for traders.  There were…

Everything continues to convulse in capital markets, including currencies, stocks, interest rates, and virtually all commodities. This continued volatility is still a settling of accounts for the major institutions that had spent their time speculating in all these sectors and are now having to readjust their portfolios. More…

What we need now is a period of stabilization and consolidation in capital markets, so we can reflect on what's happening in the economy. We also need third-quarter earnings season, so we can get the latest view from corporations. Some companies have already reported their third-quarter earnings and…

I think that total capitulation is almost here. It won't be very long before the heavy selling ends, as a lot of hedge funds have already liquidated some of their riskiest positions. There is the potential for a substantial rally in stock prices over the near term; however,…

These are crazy times for investors and traders. Case in point: after eight straight days of losses, markets were extremely oversold and jumped over 11% on Monday in a stellar up day. What astounds me is the scope of the intraday volatility and extreme swings in trading, which…

Every little bit helps, and a coordinated interest-rate reduction sends a strong signal. I think the capital markets now are of the opinion that policy makers acted too late to stem the credit squeeze around the world. Investors seem to be of the mind that, no matter what…

With the current bias to the downside, you need to have some risk management in place to avoid watching your trading capital disappear. This could be via mental or physical stop-loss orders. Or, if you want to avoid selling into a negative market, you could write call options…

The sea of red on my screen mirrored the broader market on Monday and, for a lot of these stocks, their sell-offs were worse than the main market averages. This is not surprising considering that most of these stocks are small-cap in nature. What was telling, however, was…

Markets continue to maintain a negative bias, as stocks trade at multi-year lows, with 2008 potentially the worst showing since the bear market in 2000. We are awaiting a second vote on a revised $700-billion bailout program that will give the markets some confidence. However, we feel it…

The people that I speak with who are really worried about the current state of things are those who are retired or are just about to retire. Even if you look at the most conservative of stocks that yield dividends, the vast majority of blue-chip stocks have been…

A key variable in the success of the economy will be the labor market going forward. As business slows, companies will cut production and send workers home. This will translate into lost wages and a decline in consumer spending that will ultimately impact the economy negatively. In the…

You can't say this is not an interesting time for stock markets. Not only are the bulls looking for positive news, but now, for the time being, bears cannot even short some 799 U.S. financial stocks and, in Canada, you cannot short banks. The government and Fed have lots…

Given the recent turmoil in stocks, investors have been facing a climate of volatile trading, as key market indices retested recent lows on Tuesday. So, it is time again to review ways of minimizing major downside risk. By using options, you can create a protective hedge against potential…

It's very difficult to find any stocks in this market that are actually going up in value. With the exception of those days when government announces big bailout packages, the market is still very much in bear market territory. The S&P 500 Index has broken my psychologically important…

As President George Bush nears the end of this last term in the White House, the President addressed the nation last night in what I believe was an excellent rendition of the vast reaching effects of the housing bust. President Bush clearly described what had happened to the…