Neil Cavuto was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Ben Stein, economist and former Nixon speechwriter, and Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard Funds; and Meredith Whitney, FNC Business Contributor.
Will Victory in Iraq, Lead to Victory on Wall Street?
Neil Cavuto: Incredibly, just 44 days after the first "shock and awe" bombs dropped on Baghdad, President Bush officially puts an end to the major combat phase (search) in Iraq. Will that officially put an end to our three year bear market here at home?
Jack Bogle: We knew before we went into the war that it would end quickly. People should rely on the economics of the stock market. We should be asking ourselves what kind of returns can we expect in the next decade? Don't focus on news events and get emotional. Focus on the economics.
Jim Rogers: I'm long on stocks and I do own shares at the moment. I'm the most bullish I've been in a long time. I have no shorts.
Gregg Hymowitz: I think you're going to see a dichotomy between the stock market and the economy. I think it's very much a stock pickers market. I'm not as bullish on the indexes.
Ben Stein: The Dow is at 20 times earnings, the Nasdaq at infinity times earnings. The S&P (search) is at 30 times earnings. Those are very high numbers. I think we need to see major earnings improvements before we see stock improvements.
Jack Bogle: First let me say that there is no such thing as a stock pickers market. For every person buying a stock someone is selling it. So both can’t time it perfectly. That’s why I urge investors to have a global market index fund. That's owning all the stocks in the entire stock market.
Neil Cavuto: But Jack, if you did that three years ago, you'd be seriously under water today. What kind of time frame should an investor be prepared for under your plan?
Jack Bogle: That's exactly the way I invest my stock money. But I don't put all my money in stocks. Three years ago I was about 70 percent in bonds and 30 percent in stocks.
Jim Rogers: Unless you really know what you're doing, you should be in an index fund.
More for Your Money: Tech Rebound
Neil Cavuto: While those hi-tech bombs were flying over Baghdad, hi-tech stocks were flying higher on Wall Street. And they're still going: the Nasdaq is up about 15 percent since the pre-war rally took off in mid-March and up a very bullish 30 percent since the October lows. Meredith, are techs leading us into a new bull market?
Meredith Whitney: Technology is definitely the place to be. In terms of a larger rally, we still need to wait and see.
Jim Rogers: I own the QQQs, the Nasdaq, but for most people, they should probably stay away from individual stocks. They got beaten down since the bubble burst in 2000, and have gone down 75-80 percent.
Gregg Hymowitz: Most tech stocks still seem to be very expensive. If techs lead to a new bull market, I'd buy Vodafone (VOD). It’s positioned well in the telecom market and priced right too.
Ben Stein: In this environment I am buying the Dow Diamonds (DIA) and high income stocks. I don't like the QQQ's because they have no earnings.
Jim Rogers: I'd rather play the QQQs on the rebound. They've been massacred and I think they're a good play instead of the Diamonds, which haven't really gone down.
Meredith Whitney: If techs lead the new bull market, I'd buy the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX). It's up 15 percent since January 1, 2003. The fundamentals are so much better in technology than they are in industrials.
Ben Stein: There's no earnings in technology. How can you say fundamentals are better in technology? For ordinary investors the QQQ's are a risky bet.