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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, and Joe Battipaglia, Ryan Beck & Co. chief investment officer.
Trading Pit: Will North Korea Nuke Dow's Record?
The Dow finally does it — crushing the all-time high set back in January of 2000. But now North Korea is threatening to test a nuclear bomb. If it happens this weekend, will it crush the rally that took the Dow to its high?
Gary B. Smith: I think this comes at a time when the market is particularly vulnerable, so if the test is successful, it could mean stocks tumble. This is the kind of thing that Wall Street normally likes to shrug off. A couple weeks ago, the markets was concerned about the Fed and oil. But now Wall Street is looking for something to worry about. Stocks have had a great run and the Dow smashed through its all-time high. However this nuclear test is the perfect catalyst for a little sell off.
Tobin Smith: If they actually used a bomb, stocks would sell off, but North Korea would then be nuked to kingdom come and no one would miss them.
Pat Dorsey: Nukes are completely unlike any conventional terrorist attacks. It's a game changer with a potential for a very nasty outcome. As with most things, though, any overreaction would be a buying opportunity.
Joe Battipaglia: North Korea is a collapsed economy run by a tyrant trapped on all sides by some very powerful forces: China, Japan and the U.S. Unlike the terror threat from Arab extremists, it is unclear just what North Korea wants. They are truly isolated from the rest of the world and can be dealt with regionally.
Charles Payne: I think the North Korea nuke test will be unnerving but will have a limited impact on the stock market. The last test was a dud but sooner or later they'll get their act together. But there is still hope that some sort of payoff will appease the country—it's extortion but better than going to war. Of course as tests continue and the missiles seem to be veering closer to US targets the more adverse the reaction will be from the stock market.
Scott Bleier: I think it will definitely have a near-term impact on our stock market—and also in Asia. It will not be a happy day in government or financial circles when one of the "Axis of Evil" countries tests a working nuclear weapon. But markets will get past it as they have with other dangerous events—and it will create a buying opportunity.
Decade of FOX Stox!
Ten years ago, FOX News Channel's first day on the air, the Dow was at 5,979 points. It has almost doubled in a decade, closing at 11,850 points on Friday. Will we see another double in the next decade?
Charles: We absolutely will see another double in the next decade. The stock market is going much higher. The market is a reflection of the people and companies in this country. It shows their hard work, innovation, achievement, and success. At the end of the day, these companies are rewarded, and that's reflected in the stock market.
Gary B: I'm bearish in the short-term, but in the long-term, I agree with Charles. The market moved up at the end of WWII and then flat lined for about a 16-year period. We've just kind of done the same thing. We'll eventually come out of that stretch and I do see bullish times ahead.
Joe B: In every market cycle, there are moves up and there are moves down depending on how the economy behaves. Don't bet against America because in the next ten years, the U.S. will benefit greatly from globalization. We will exploit the opportunity of capitalism outside the United States for those companies that have made the investments now to get the returns later.
Scott: We're going to have another good ten years, but it's not going to be as great as the last ten. I think we'll move up 50 percent. The long-term trend shows that stocks are where you need to be.
Tobin: The difference between now and the late 1970s are the 2 billion new consumers that we now have in Russia, China, and India. The growth there creates the global demand that Joe was talking about. We also now have Baby Boomers hitting prime years. The 50-65 year olds have a problem because they haven't saved enough money and bonds aren't going to do it for them. Stocks are the only way they will be able to get a retirement. I say the market will double or triple from here.
Pat: The important thing to remember here is inflation. Today's dollar is worth 20 percent less than what it was in 2000. If you look at doubling in 10 years, that's a 7 percent annualized return and after inflation it's only 3 percent a year. Let's not get too thrilled. The next ten years will be good, but we're starting from a higher valuation point.