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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Rebecca Gomez, FOX Business News correspondent; Mike Norman, BIZRADIO show host, and Lenny Dykstra, TheStreet.com columnist.
Trading Pit: Why Wall Street Will Never Forget September 11
America marking the 5th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. These attacks changed a nation and nearly brought our stock market and economy to its knees. Will the financial world ever forget the lessons of that day?
Mike Norman: I was down by City Hall. I had to go there for a meeting that day and arrived shortly after the second plane hit. I stayed and watched until the south tower fell then started moving uptown. Wall Street will not be able to forget. It will only forget when there is a definitive resolution in the war on terror and that might not be for years, a generation, or perhaps it will never come.
Pat Dorsey: Individuals will never forget this day, but the market already has moved past this. The market may be emotional in the short-run, but it's pretty rational long-term. The attacks caused a large reaction at the time because they were unexpected. Now, terrorism is part of the global backdrop, and we expect that attacks will occur from time to time. The frequency and severity are unknown—just like natural disasters—but it's expected. It's the unexpected that Wall Street really hates.
Tobin Smith: We are getting past this, because we're optimists, and that's what optimists do. However, we're also realists and know that another attack could happen anytime. This changed America and changed the way we're going to live our lives. But the bottom line is that capitalism must preserve because it's the only way we're going to beat these guys.
Lenny Dykstra: I played baseball in New York and had the honor of playing for the city's great fans. I will never forget these attacks and think about them all the time. Money can't change this. I am here today because of New York City, and I will never forget this.
Rebecca Gomez: The markets are resilient. Wall Street will never forget 9-11 because it was the primary target—the financial heart of America. But Wall Street has not let 9-11 or the terrorists stop them from carrying on with the financial duties of this country. Investors have proven resilient in the face of more threats and global attacks. They haven't succumbed to fear as the terrorists would have liked.
Scott Bleier: People that were and people in the financial community were affected much more personally than in other parts of the country. Friends of mine were killed. Friends of Mike's were killed. Really ravaged our community. But Wall Street has preserved and has proven its resilience. Terror must now be factored into investors' decision-making. It will always be the "X" factor until it is defeated.
Is Dow About to Make New All-Time High?
The Dow closed on Friday at 11,392, just 331 points away from making a new all-time high. How soon until we reach this milestone?
Rebecca Gomez: We won't see it this month. I don't see a catalyst that will push the Dow to an all-time high. The problem is we have a lot of uncertainties: Iran, hurricane season, and the housing market. Plus, September is historically a poor month for the market.
Pat Dorsey: Sure, we could see an all-time high soon. We're only 2.9 percent away and could gain that in a good week. The open question is just how much of an effect the slowing housing market will have on consumer spending. The data is very conflicting right now.
Tobin Smith: I think we will see it in mid-October because we have Election Day approaching. As the election rhetoric heats up, all we'll hear is how lousy everything is. Also, oil has been pulling back. I've been selling our energy stocks, because it has peaked.
Lenny Dykstra: Toby, the only thing going on in October is the World Series! The world is very unstable right now and I don't think we will see a new all-time high until 2009.
Mike Norman: I predict the new all-time high will be on December 17th of this year. And I'll bet anyone on this panel it happens. How much will I wager? One penny!!
Scott Bleier: I agree with Mike. We will hit the high this coming December or January because we had a great late summer rally. Now investors are taking profits. We'll have a pullback and then people will buy again for an end of the year rally.