• DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cashin' In Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cashin' In Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.

    Stock Smarts

    The Dow is up 19 percent the Nasdaq up 40 percent and the S&P 500 is up 20 percent since the war in Iraq began on March 19, 2003. Is the market giving a more accurate read on the success of the war than the media?

    John “Bradshaw” Layfield, author of Have More Money Now, says “yes” the market is giving a better read on the war than the media. He says stocks are behaving as they should be -- trading on the economic outlook and on individual companies’ fundamentals -- because the uncertainty of terrorism has been taken out of the equation.

    Hilary Kramer of A&G Capital says the fact that we have not had any attacks on American soil since 9/11 is helping the market trade higher. 

    Dagen McDowell of Fox Business News says so far the market has ignored all the post war trouble in Iraq, but that may not last.

    Wayne Rogers of Wayne Rogers & Company says if the war were not successful it would show up in the market, but the market is up now because earnings are improving and the economic news has been good.

    Jonathan Hoenig of Capitalistpig Asset Management says the stock market may be up, but the currency market is down, and that’s what he’s concerned about. He says he’s not buying U.S. stocks because of the dollar’s downward trend.

    Best Bets: Bradshaw’s Buys

    Merck (MRK)

    Friday's close: $48.63

    Bradshaw says this is a pure valuation play. He thinks Merck is a great company with a terrific balance sheet and he says it’s trading at a good value right now. Jonathan says it’s a weak stock. Wayne says Merck is a solid company, but not a great stock. Hilary prefers the generic drug makers to big pharmaceutical companies like Merck right now.

    First Data Corp. (FDC)

    Friday's close: $36.43

    Bradshaw says cash is becoming obsolete, and this company benefits from that trend. Hilary likes the stock. She says it’s a winner, and it’s good value right now. Jonathan says the stock has shown recent weakness, and he wouldn’t buy it. Wayne says, just like Merck, First Data is a good company trading at a discount, but he doesn’t see it moving higher anytime soon, and he thinks buying it will just lock up our money.

    Vodafone (VOD)

    Friday's close: $20.94

    Bradshaw thinks this company will benefit from the latest cell phone technology. Wayne says it’s a huge company that is an “okay” investment over time, but he doesn’t see any bang for the buck in the near future. Hilary says there are too many players in this market; she’s not a buyer. Jonathan likes the international telecom sector, but he thinks this is a laggard stock in that sector and he would buy others not this one.

    Fund Face Off: Best and Worst Call of the Year!

    Back on March 1 Jonas and Dagen were asked to name the best exchange traded fund to buy. Jonas picked the Technology Select Sector SPDR; Dagen chose the iShares Lehman 1-3 Year Treasury Index.

    Jonas: Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK)

    Since March 1: UP 35.9 percent