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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com; and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Layfield Energy.
Trading Pit: Is Worst Over for Stocks and Economy?
A big week on Wall Street and Main Street. The Dow hitting 13K for the first time in nearly four months. And the April jobs report shows a labor market much healthier than everyone predicted. The jobless rate actually fell - at historic lows again! Is all this a strong sign that the worst is over for stocks and the economy?
John "Bradshaw" Layfield: For part of the stock market, yes. For the financials and real estate, no. But there are tons of good buys out there. This economy is not that bad!
Scott Bleier: I'm cautious. This is one of the worst crisises we have had in a decade. We have had a great run off the lows. People are going to get excited, but there is still more headline risk and probably a better chance to buy later in the summer. If you didn't buy in the abyss, wait.
Gary B Smith: Well, let's put it this way. I was bullish early, and I was bullish at the low. So I got it half right and half wrong. When you start seeing all these headlines about how we are over 13,000 on the Dow, then it just seems that you need to be a little bit cautious. We have had a tremendous run since the lows in about mid-March, and everyone at that point thought, "that's it". I heard talks of depression at that point. Now it looks like we might not even have recession. Everyone is getting really excited, and yet you saw the action Friday when we gapped up at the open and then went nowhere. We still finished up for the day. But I would not be surprised if we had a pullback back into the low 12,000 area.
Pat Dorsey: Well, I guess I am a little nervous. I don't think we are going to have Armageddon. I think it was an extraordinary action the Fed took to prop up Bear Stearns. It gives us some confidence that we are not going to have the systemic risk. People are still losing jobs. Consumer spending is quite weak. Anecdotally, when I speak to people in Chicago and elsewhere, they are worried. There are layoffs happening. This is not the drive-by recession we had in 2000. I think there is more pain to come on the consumer side.
Tobin Smith: We have two economies. We have the global economy and the United States economy. In the United States economy, real estate is the worst offending region. The rest of the global economy is pulling us as the caboose, and we used to be the engine. That is ok. Then as we work through the excesses, you look through many stocks; you say they are cheap relative to anything out there. We can get a pull- back, but you should be a buyer on a pullback and not saying, "gosh I think the market is going to heck in a hand basket", because we are out of that!
Would Drilling for Oil in the U.S. Lower Gas Prices?
Talk about pain at the pump! Gas hitting a new record high almost every day this week. The national average now north of $3.60 a gallon with no relief in sight! Enough to get truckers storming Capitol Hill to protest the record prices. And Congress, well, doing nothing except standing in the way of drilling for more oil right here in the U.S. Would drilling for oil in the United States lower gas prices?
John "Bradshaw" Layfied: You bet! The tree-hugging liberals infuriate me. We have communist rigs drilling off of Key West, and we can't do that. You are telling me they are more environmentally friendly than Exxon Mobil. We could drill for shale oil. Refineries are being built in Mexico and Canada. We are being your hurt by these policies.
Pat Dorsey: I think it doesn't do a thing to do solve the problem. We are addicted to oil. By drilling in the U.S. for more, would be like offering a cigarette to a nicotine attack. The money will be better spent elsewhere.
Tobin Smith: We have to take advantage of the resources we have. And we would drill in a smart and efficient way.
Stock X-Change: 'Iron Man' Stocks
Market gurus by day, stock super heroes by night! "Iron Man" stocks right now in the Stock X-Change.
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Tobin Smith: Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT )