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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Charles Payne, Wall Street Strategies CEO; Tracy Byrnes, NY Post business writer, and Susan Estrich, Democratic strategist.
Trading Pit: Iran Defiance Good for America and Stocks?
Iran has been thumbing its nose at the rest of the world. Enriching a new batch of uranium the same week it blows off the UN nuclear deadline. Will the world finally take action—making this defiance a "good" thing for America and our stock market?
Charles Payne: It's good in the sense that there will be closure and Wall Street loves closure. I think it's a good thing that the market didn't sell off in the face of Iran's defiance. This is a form of terrorism and it's showing that our markets are becoming less vulnerable to terror sell-offs.
Gary B. Smith: The stock market's reaction would have been the same no matter what came out of Iran. We are very skeptical of them and are suspect no matter what they say. Right now stocks are focused on other things. Until Iran does something dramatic, which they have not done yet, stocks won't be affected.
Tobin Smith: Look at the lack of bad news! All the recent news has been good unlike the last 3-4 months of bad news. Everyone knows what Iran is doing. They are playing us for dummies. Everytime oil goes up $1 it adds $40 million to their cash pile. So all the have to do is say, "Boo!" and we do their bidding. The market could care less about Iran.
Scott Bleier: Could you imagine how high stocks would be if we didn't have this Iran situation? They'd definitely be considerably higher. We need to put Iran against the wall and call their bluff. The rest of the world has decided to not be on our side. Iran is going to get the bomb and we're going to have no choice but to go in with our military.
Tracy Byrnes: It's been this way forever! Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad means nothing to us. He's like a little gnat flying around and annoying us. We have to get rid of him, but no one on Wall Street is concerned about him. We knew he was going to blow off the deadline. And until we take him down, he'll have no effect on the market.
Pat Dorsey: The market is very short-term oriented. But in the long-term, if they get the bomb, it's a big deal. The world would be a much better place if we dealt with this and prevented them from getting a nuclear weapon. But is the stock market focusing on this? No.
GOP or Dems: Who Does Wall Street Think Will Protect Us Best From Terrorism?
The threat of a terrorist attack is still the nation's number one worry. And as the midterm elections start to heat up, Democrats are saying they're the best party for national security. Does Wall Street—which was the target on 9/11—believe the Dems are the best party to fight terror?
Susan Estrich: Yes the Democrats are the best party to fight terror. At the very least, we can say which party has proven worst, and that's the Republicans. Look at their mess. Not only did 9/11 happen under their watch, but in the five years since, have they made us safer? No. First they fought against an independent commission to investigate what went wrong, then virtually ignored its recommendations. They also have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the wrong war. Has the war in Iraq made America more secure in he world? No.
Charles Payne: Wall Street isn't convinced the Democrats are ready to step up to the plate. Plus there hasn't been an attack on the US since 9/11.
Tobin Smith: The GOP have shown the willingness to do what has to be done and not hesitate. We've probably stopped 15-20 attacks that we don't know about.
Gary B. Smith: I agree with Toby. I think Wall Street believes the Republicans will keep us safer.
Pat Dorsey: Honestly, Wall Street doesn't care.
Scott Bleier: Sometimes Wall Street can be very brilliant. It knows that the Republicans are fighting a war on terror and the Democrats are fighting a war on George Bush. The Dems have put forth no concrete plan.