Our panelists give you the scoop on all the inside business information before you hear it anywhere else in The Informer segment:
David Asman: Bob, let's start with you.
Bob Lenzner, national editor: There's a big mess in the corporate governess reform movement. The person who was chosen to head this board John Biggs, the chairman of TIA CREFS is being blocked. Republicans don't want him because he's too close to the unions. I think whoever takes up this watchdog role, the whole effort is going to be diluted.
Chana Schoenberger, staff writer: Do you think investors will have more or less confidence now?
Bob Lenzner: I think they'll have less.
David Asman: We do need more trust on Wall Street. Luisa Kroll, tell us about the new cover of Forbes.
Luisa Kroll, associate editor: We've named the CEO of Charles River Labs (CRL), entrepreneur of the year, making Forbes' 200 best small businesses list. Basically, it's the largest breeder of rats in the United States. This is kind of the entry pad for all the pharmaceuticals.
Chana Schoenberger: I don't know about rats, but do you think they'll be making more acquisitions?
Luisa Kroll: They've made some really good acquisitions that have helped their earnings flow.
David Asman: Okay, Matt you have something a little more conventional. What's the news on Mutual Funds?
Matt Schifrin, senior editor: We're saying to buy Rydex URSA (RYURX), which inversely tracks the S&P 500.
David Asman: Inversely tracks? That means it's betting on bad news?
Matt Schifrin: That's right. When the S&P goes down, this thing goes up. We've pulled the top market timers and they're still overwhelmingly bearish. So don't be suckered in by this market rally.
Bob Lenzner: This is a way of protecting your money when the market goes down. We should have more stocks like this.
David Asman: Chana, what can you tell us about these car navigation systems? I love them, but what about the car companies?
Chana Schoenberger: The car companies are not as enthusiastic as you are. It's called Telematix. The car companies have bet about $3 billion on research for this stuff. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be paying off for them. The 3G is a problem for them. That's short for third generation. And General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) have had some setbacks recently.
Matt Schifrin: I disagree. Car makers need this because it gets them directly to their customers. There's no middle man. And it's cool stuff.
Makers & Breakers
Douglas Lane, Douglas Lane & Associates: MAKER
I like Qualcomm. It owns the rights to all 3G in the world. 3G means third generation. That's when your phone becomes more than just something you talk on. You get data input and it replaces the PC.
Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: MAKER
Apparently this is the wave of the future and Qualcomm has the right technology. The stock isn't cheap, but if you want a tech stock, I can't think of any better stock to pick.
Luisa Kroll, associate editor: MAKER
I agree. It's a great long term buy, though it's a bit pricey right now. I like it because it's a lot more predictable than other tech stocks.
Douglas Lane: MAKER
Nucor is a low cost provider by far. They have non-union employees, yet their employees are the highest paid in the states in which they operate. They've never lost any money in any quarter since 1966.
Luisa Kroll: BREAKER
I think this is a terrific company but I'm a breaker. Even when the market was doing well, steel continued to underperform. So why bet on steel? And Nucor has had some problems in this last quarter.
Jim Michaels: BREAKER
I'm a little embarrassed but I'm a breaker on this, partly on morals. I don't want to invest in a company that needs subsidy from taxpayers. It needs to go to Washington to lobby to survive.
Douglas Lane: Nucor has a great balance sheet and more cash than they need. Nucor is like the Southwest of the airline industry.