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    Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on FOX | Cashin' In

    Bulls & Bears

    This past week’s Bulls & Bears:

    · Gary B. Smith, RealMoney.com columnist

    · Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research

    · Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Investing editor

    · Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president

    · Jill Schlesinger, StrategicPoint Investment Advisors Executive Vice President

    · John “Bradshaw” Layfield, WWE superstar & nationally syndicated radio show host

    TRADING PIT

    The gloves are off in Washington, fighting over everything from Supreme Court nominations to White House indictments to the wacky closed Senate session last week. But is all this fighting good or bad for the market?

    GARY B: Yes, all the fighting in Washington is good news for stocks. It gives President Bush a chance to show leadership. When he sits back and lets the Democrats pound on him, the market seems to move sideways. When he comes out with a Supreme Court nomination like Samuel Alito and takes steps forward, it is a positive thing. And this positive energy then charges through the market.

    SCOTT: The fighting in Washington is nothing more than a soap opera to the markets. In every second term, the president always has a tough time. However, each and every time the market has done very well. The market ignores the problems in Washington. Over the past couple of weeks, the market has had a spectacular rally, making up everything we lost in October. Business continues to be strong even though interest rates have gone up and oil prices have gone down.

    JOHN: Yes, fighting in D.C. helps the market. The market doesn't care how Harriet Miers or Samuel Alito feels about Roe v. Wade. It cares that for nine straight quarters — soon to be ten — there’s been double-digit earnings growth. The market really wants politicians to stay out of the way. And if fighting accomplishes that, let ‘em fight. I think the stock market’s rally will continue. Oil prices should head down because driving season is at a low peak right now.

    JILL: I think this is irrelevant. The market is focusing on the numbers and on the economy. The only piece of news to emerge in the last two weeks out of Washington that had any bearing on the market was the appointment of Ben Bernanke as the successor to Alan Greenspan. The bond market crushed bonds and stocks are rising as a result.

    PAT: In general, the more fighting in D.C., the better for stocks. If politicians are fighting about politics, they're not spending or messing with economy. But right now the economy is in trouble and someone needs to take the lead and show some fiscal responsibility. The recent strong retail sales numbers shocked me. I’m still wondering where American consumers are getting the money to spend. With rates going up and people not getting out of their homes anymore, things will be a little dicey for the next couple of quarters.

    STOCK X-CHANGE

    Gas prices are lower now than when Hurricane Katrina hit two months ago. Will they continue to drop and what stocks climb as gas falls?

    John: Gas prices are going to continue to move sideways. Oil is still about supply and demand. Supply is still finite and demand is still increasing. Republicans won't allow fuel efficiency standards. Democrats don't want new refineries. We are not doing near enough to address the issue. Oil and gas prices are just pausing, nothing more.

    Gary B: Gas prices have come down because we’ve had a big bubble in the oil and gas market. We’ve come down 20%. Last week, I said the price at the pump was going to $2.25 and I still think that’s where we’re headed. This will be great for the consumer.

    Jill: We’ll be paying about the same for gas. I don’t think there will be a big spike in gas prices unless there is some weird speculative spike in oil prices.