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In practice, governments in transition and other economies often retain some shares in privatized firms. For a two-firm differentiated-product oligopoly, we show how partial state ownership affects the firms' subsequent investment and output behavior. Hence, we determine how the optimum retained state ownership share depends on product–market competitiveness and we find the conditions under which it would be preferable to sell the firms to a single owner. Partial state ownership is optimal if the proportionate welfare weight on government revenue is high, but less than unity. As product–market competitiveness rises, investment is first increasing and then decreasing. This paper investigates the link between the lack of consumer confidence and stock returns during market fluctuations. Using a Markov-switching framework, we first focus on whether the shock to consumer confidence has asymmetric effects on stock returns. We also examine whether the decreased confidence pushes the stock market into bear territory. Empirical evidence using monthly returns on Standard & Poor's S&P 500 price index suggests that market pessimism has larger impacts on stock returns during Ray Ban Sunglasses Sale bear markets. Moreover, the lack of consumer confidence leads to a higher probability Ray Ban Vision of switching to a bear market regime.