DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom 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 "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
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Bulls & Bears
Brenda was joined by: Gary B. Smith, columnist for RealMoney.com; Tobin Smith, editor ChangeWave Investing; Scott Bleier, president of HybridInvestors.com; Joe Battipaglia, chief investment officer of Ryan Beck & Co; Herb Greenberg, senior columnist for MarketWatch.com; and Bob Froehlich, chairman of investor strategy at Scudder Investments.
Trading Pit: Best Chance to Buy?
It was just a bad week for the stock market (search). The major averages now at their lowest levels of the year. The Dow dropped more than three hundred and seventy points.
But is this investors’ best chance to buy?
Bob Froehlich: Yes! This past week does hurt, but thank goodness one week does not make up the whole year. Now is the time to buy. We are at the low for the year and it is the beginning of earnings season, not the end. Oil and interest rates are down, but earnings and the market will be up.
Herb Greenberg: No! This is not a buying opportunity at all. And it won’t be time to buy again until we go back to the lows of October 2002, when the Dow was at 7,300 and the Nasdaq was around 1,110.
Gary B. Smith: It's scary, but that’s exactly why it's time to start buying! I emphasize start, because we’re not right at the bottom, and there’s more downside to come. But now is the time to start buying.
Tobin Smith: This is just a correction; it’s not the end of the bull market. The fundamentals have not deteriorated. Just be cautious, and avoid high-risk stocks. I wouldn’t rush to buy stocks now because we’re probably headed 5-10 percent lower.
Joe Battipaglia: I don’t think we’ll head much lower. We’ve had soft patches all the way and we had a similar stretch last year, and then moved higher. In my opinion, we’re at a sustainable pace of growth and I expect the markets to move up 12 percent from here.
Scott Bleier: The Fed has been behind the curve panicking about inflation that’s over a year old. I think the Fed will raise rates until November. But when they’re almost done, around late summer, we’re going to have a huge rally.
Gary B., Bob and Joe each picked their best stock to buy with your tax refund.
Bob: Invest in China. I like China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) (SNP), which is the largest oil refinery company in the country. There’s an evolution going on in China. 15,000 new highway projects are scheduled. The people are moving from bicycles to mopeds to automobiles and they are going to need gas. (China Petroleum and Chemical closed on Friday at $39.00.)
Gary B.: Bob is so behind the curve. China and oil are dead. Taking a look at the chart, SNP lost its mojo when it fell below the uptrend is had been in since the end of 2003.
Joe: I’m still struggling with the notion of sending your money to China. The oil sector has a lot of risk and even if China has a lot of projects lined up, this company will still suffer.
Joe: I’m going with Robert Half International (RHI), a company that finds temporary and permanent work for accountants. The stock is going to benefit from the current regulatory environment and I think it’s going to the mid-$30s. (Robert Half International closed on Friday at $24.87.)
Gary B.: This stock was also performing well, but like the previous one, it broke below an uptrend it had been in since the end of 2003. It’s down 15 percent this year and showing no sign of strength. Now is not the time to buy, it’s the time to panic.
Bob: It’s a cyclical and low margin business. I prefer Manpower (MAN).