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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Joe Battipaglia, Stifel Nicolaus, and Marc Lamont Hill, Temple University.
Trading Pit: Is Now a Great Time to Buy Stocks and Homes?
More tough times for stocks and homes? Not so fast! Stocks are within shouting distance of their first winning month since last October, and existing home sales were actually up in February. So is now a great time to buy both?
Gary B Smith: It's a great time. The Fed has shown that they absolutely will not let the economy fail. Consumer confidence will come back as the market does. And higher equity prices will make people feel richer, allowing them to bid up home prices.
Tobin Smith: It is not a great time yet. Housing stocks are only rising due to short covering. A few more will go down like Bear Stearns before all bad news is priced in.
Scott Bleier: Yes it's a great time for some stocks and some houses-but not all stocks and not all houses. As far as stocks are concerned, I would keep away from big banks and brokerage houses. We just don't know what they are worth. But I am attracted to many areas of technology and the consumer. There are some real bargains in the stock market.
Joe Battipaglia: Now is not a great time for housing or stocks. Home prices should continue to fall this year by a national average of 10 percent, and that means even more trouble for credit markets. The fallout from recession is still ahead in terms of unemployment and weakening earnings. It's too soon to sound the "all clear".
Pat Dorsey: Stocks will bottom before housing. Still too much unsold inventory. The next couple of months and the spring selling season will be key.
Tax Dollars Paying for Flood Damage: Enough Is Enough?
Major flooding continues across the Midwest. And who is coming to the rescue? You! Your tax dollars at work: 19 counties in Missouri are getting federal money to help with the clean up. Is it your responsibility, through your taxes, to fix these flooded areas?
Gary B Smith: Enough is enough! People can choose where they want to live. If you choose to live in a flood plain or in a place that will have forest fires like parts of California or in tornado alley, then it would beholden on you to make sure you have Insurance. If you can't afford the insurance or you don't want the insurance, you shouldn't live there. It's called personal responsibility.
Marc Lamont Hill: The reality here is if these people could leave, they would. They would get in their helicopters and private jets and go. There are plenty of people stuck in Missouri. They have generational ties; social ties; and more importantly, they have economic ties. They can't leave. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to help fellow Americans.
The crew's most recent buys right now in the "Bulls & Bears" lightning round!
If you want to watch what each had to say about each stock, click here.
Tobin Smith: Arch Coal (ACI )