DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Bulls & Bears
Hurricane Isabel (search) battered the east coast last week, but it was much bigger and much stronger before making landfall. The bull market hurricane on Wall Street this year has shown pretty big gains for the Dow and the Nasdaq, which had a rally even as Dick Grasso (search) resigned from the NYSE. Will the bull market winds keep blowing or will they quiet down as Isabel did as she headed north?
Bob O. said we are in the eye of the hurricane and some could get hurt. He said there are bubbles out there, such as some of the Internet and tech stocks. If there is still some value underneath, investors have to play individual stocks.
Tobin said in the last three months the underlying economy improved faster than a lot of people thought. Hedge funds are way behind and private buyers are buying stocks. He still thinks there is value and he hopes we are in the eye of the storm. He is still bullish. He says, one of the things people haven’t factored in is the fact that we have a lot of good news to come.
Gary agrees with Bob. He charted the S&P 500, and it showed that once it cleared 1000, the bulls took control. It looks to be pausing before making the next assault. He thinks the Nasdaq is a little overextended.
Scott said the group forecasted that September would be a rush up in the market, and we’ve gotten it. We’re now in the 9th inning of the move that started 9 months ago. We’re going to have a great end of the year, and the economy is going to do well next year. But the market is expensive, and he said this is the best time to take your profits off the table. The best gains come now in the most speculative high, but the risk is highest.
Pat said the Nasdaq is a train wreck waiting to happen. There is still a little bit of value out there - a few asset managers and specialty insurers - but overall he says it’s pretty pricey and he’s not seeing a lot of values. He added if you own some telecom equipment names that have doubled this year, accept the gift now and take profits.
Ben Affleck had some fun with Jennifer Lopez, but got out of the relationship before it became a long-term thing. Is this a lesson in love and maybe a lesson in buying and selling stocks? The Bulls and Bears chose stocks to buy now, have some fun, make some money and then dump in a hurry.
Tobin chose OmniVision Technologies (OVTI). This company makes the chips that go into all the new cell phone cameras, which everyone will have soon. He says the stock is sexy because it is selling like crazy. Tobin thinks its earnings are going to double again over the next 12-18 months. He said buy now and sell at $60. (OmniVision Technologies closed on Friday at $46.10.) Scott said it’s a one-product technology company that is “all the rage,” but thinks investors should dump it soon. Bob thinks it’s too expensive.
Scott’s stock is Akamai Technologies (AKAM), which has a server farm and optimizes websites. He said this was the quintessential high-flying sexy stock, which was $340 at its peak. He said last year it was at 75 cents. He said buy now and sell at $8. (Akamai Technologies closed on Friday at $5.12.) Tobin said stay away from it.
Bob chose American Greetings (AM), which is the second largest greeting card company in the world. It’s a company that has been in trouble in the past because of its accounting, but has been turned around and now deals in contracts. Bob said every stock has to have a prenuptial agreement, so sell between $28-30. (American Greetings closed on Friday at $20.25.)
Unlike what Ben said to Jen, Gary B. and Pat charted stocks they say you should marry.
Gary chose Anheuser-Busch (BUD). Its chart says, “This BUD’s for you!” It’s been going up for the past 17 years and Gary said there is no reason to think it’ll stop any time soon. Pat said it’s not the only stock investors should own, but it’s a great one. It dominates U.S. beer and has the best distribution system. It has also been buying and increasing stakes in foreign breweries in Mexico and China. Pat said it’s pricey, but worth it. (Anheuser-Busch closed on Friday at $51.10.)
Next, Pat chose McGraw-Hill (MHP). He said it has great businesses. Its S&P unit is boosting the bottom line and it runs the textbook business like printing money. Pat said it could gain 25 percent within two years. (McGraw-Hill closed on Friday at $59.96.) Gary said it has the same time frame as Anheuser-Busch, but McGraw-Hill has done nothing since 1998. He said it should break to a new high, but don’t buy before it does.
Pat’s Prediction: Time to sell CIT Group (CIT); I might Monday morning
Bob’s Prediction: Hurricane, Schmurricane; buy insurance stocks!
Tobin’s Prediction: Allstate (ALL): good hands & a great stock; up 20 percent after Isabel
Gary B’s Prediction: Nike (NKE) keeps “doing it”; doubles in 3 years
Scott’s Prediction: Motorola (MOT) is going to ring up a 30 percent gain by year-end
Cavuto on Business
Neil Cavuto was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Ben Stein, economist; Jenny Anderson, NY Post reporter; Charles Payne, CEO Wall Street Strategies; Carlos Watson, Democratic Strategist.
Neil Cavuto: A hurricane over America and storm clouds over Wall Street. Isabel (search) hit, did her damage and moved on. And so did Dick Grasso (search), the NYSE chairman moving on after feeling the heat over his controversial pay package. Now that he is out, should investors come back into the market? Jenny, better for investors coming in now that Grasso's out?
Jenny Anderson: There's still big questions. What do you do with the board that approved his package? What's going to happen to the regulatory function of the stock exchange?
Jim Rogers: As far as the market is concerned, it's irrelevant. The market could care less. Anyone can run the stock exchange.
Jenny Anderson: Not true, not true. There are companies now considering not listing there because they're concerned about what's going to happen there.
Jim Rogers: That's not what I'm saying. The stock market could care less who runs the exchange.
Jenny Anderson: Dick Grasso would not appreciate that comment.
Jim Rogers: I don't care. Dick Grasso is not a good guy.
Gregg Hymowitz: At the end of the day the board is responsible for this. How can these guys say that they didn't know how much he was being compensated? It was their job to oversee it. Someone needs to put pressure on the board and make these guys accountable for what they've done.
Jenny Anderson: There is already a lot of pressure on these guys. The CEO of Goldman Sachs is saying take the securities industry directors off the board.
Ben Stein: The most culpable director was Carl McCall, who's not in the securities industry directory. The compensation committee screwed up on an incredible scale.
Neil Cavuto: Do you think Carl McCall should resign?
Ben Stein: Absolutely. But I don't think this is going to become a relevant matter for investors. It doesn't have an effect on profits or discount rates of the stocks that are listed.
Gregg Hymowitz: What it shows again is the utter failure of these corporate boards. Whether it's Enron, WorldCom and now the NYSE, the corporate board governance have significant problems.
Neil Cavuto: To be fair though, there's no criminal activity here -- just a guy who got a lot of money.
Jim Rogers: How do you know there was no criminal activity?
Neil Cavuto: How do you know there was?
Jim Rogers: I'm saying you don't. No one knows.
Ben Stein: I question whether there was criminal activity or not. If the board didn't know about the total compensation figures, then that's straight up and down fraud.
Jenny Anderson: They didn't ask the questions. They didn't say, 'We don't get this.' They voted to approve it.
Neil Cavuto: Didn't this start when a guy from their finance department noticed something and said, 'Guys, do you know that we just paid this guy two-thirds of what we made last year.'
Jim Rogers: One year he made $30 million and the stock exchange made $28 million.
Gregg Hymowitz: I think investors don't really care because the only time they see Dick Grasso is ringing the opening bell, and banging the gavel at the end of the day, and they think that's the only thing he does. And maybe that is the only thing he does.
Jim Rogers: According to the Financial Times, the number of listings went down under his watch.
Neil Cavuto: I don't think that's right.
Jim Rogers: That's what the Financial Times reported.
Ben Stein: If you have a situation where the board of director scratches the chairman's back and the chairman scratches the board of directors’ back, there is inevitably going to be a conflict of interest. That's the situation we had here. Mr. Grasso regulated the people who regulated him.
Gregg Hymowitz: And they also serve on each other's board, which is amazing given what we've seen in corporate America.
Neil Cavuto: But if you remove the hypocrisy part Jim Rogers, and the appearance of just looking weird, would that make investors think the market is fair?
Jim Rogers: Investors don't care about who runs the stock exchange. They certainly care about false bookkeeping and impropriety, but as far as the exchange, most people don't know where they buy their shares.
More for Your Money
Neil Cavuto: The spotlight is on. The red carpet is out. It's time for the stock Emmys with the winners getting you more for your money. AOL Time Warner (AOL), soon to be just "Time Warner," by the way. The company's HBO unit has the most Emmy nominations this year-- including best drama for Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. And best comedy for Curb Your Enthusiasm and Sex and the City. Charles, does the stock Emmy go to AOL?
Charles Payne: AOL gets the Emmy for most undervalued company with the most potential long-term. It isn't the company I would pick out of all of them, but it is a good potential long-term bet.
Ben Stein: I am the only one among us who actually has an Emmy, which I won in 1999. I've worked for Viacom (VIA.B) in the past, and they are a very well run company. They're also very stingy -- which I like. I do own a little stock in the company, and I think they have nowhere to go but up.
Gregg Hymowitz: I agree. I think Viacom is the most attractive here. It's trading at 24 times earnings. They're stingy like Ben said, and they have a great management team.
Jim Rogers: I wouldn't buy any of the media companies right now. Time Warner is very leveraged right now. The technology is changing. Competition is pouring in. These aren't companies you should be investing in.
Neil Cavuto: General Electric (GE): NBC has the West Wing up for best drama and Friends and Will and Grace up for best comedy. Gregg, I'm just guessing you're a West Wing fan. Just a hunch. What about GE Ben?
Ben Stein: I love General Electric. It's an amazingly well run company. I think the stock price is still a little rich, and I would not buy it.
Jim Rogers: General Electric is an accounting game. I would not put a nickel of my money in it. I'm waiting to sell it short.
Charles Payne: I agree with Ben. I think it's bloated. I think it's got a lot of integration here, Telemundo, Vivendi and Bravo. The stock has made a pretty good move. I wouldn't chase it.
Gregg Hymowitz: It's not the most direct play in the media world but at 19 times earnings, I think it's an interesting play here.
Neil Cavuto: And our last nomination, Viacom -- its CBS network has C.S.I in the running for best drama and for best comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond. Ben, should everybody love this stock?
Ben Stein: If you want to make a media play, this is a company that is amazingly well managed. They have great exposure in radio, which is a money machine. I like this company.
Jim Rogers: I would pass.
Neil Cavuto: You don't like any of these.
Gregg Hymowitz: He doesn't own a TV. He hasn't even heard of these shows.
Charles Payne: Ben touched on the radio aspect, and Clear Channel (CCU), for me, might be the best media play.
Gregg Hymowitz: You're also going to see massive media consolidation depending on what happens with the FCC rules at the government level. And look, the economy is slowly improving and increasing advertising revenues. All these could be attractive at a price.
Head to Head
Neil Cavuto: When the ninth circuit court put the California recall vote on hold, did it also put our economy and stock market in jeopardy? Time to go Head to Head. Do you think this is just damaging California, Carlos?
Carlos Watson: I don't think the recall is the best idea in the world. The recall idea was devised back in 1911 to protect against robber barons.
Neil Cavuto: Wait a minute, your party used it against Ronald Reagan.
Carlos Watson: If it was wrong once, it doesn't mean it was right before. I know there's a bit of hypocrisy here. I'll admit that. I think what the judges did to postpone and do it right on March 2nd was the right decision.
Neil Cavuto: Where was that argument when I guess they had the same number of punch ballots or hanging chads and all that other nonsense last year when governor Davis was re-elected. I didn't hear a word from anyone.
Carlos Watson: I love you Neil but it's because you weren't listening. The truth of the matter is the ACLU and Common Cause back in 2001 went to the Secretary of State, a Republican, Bill Jones and said this is a problem. And Bill Jones said we can't fix it in time for 2002.
Neil Cavuto: They never said then postpone the election. Now that it looks like he's in trouble they say postpone the election.
Carlos Watson: They tried really hard to make this work and Bill Jones, a Republican, said let's wait till 2004.
Neil Cavuto: My point is this Carlos, when the law is on the books that you can recall a governor if you want, yay or nay, put him up for a vote and move on. But this protracted, let's push it back is silly.
Carlos Watson: We did get 12 percent of the voters, more than 12 percent actually to say that they want it. So we should do it. We should do it right not only to be fair, but it's really going to affect the economy if we don't.
Neil Cavuto: It is affecting the economy. Notes and bonds in California are trading at junk bond level status. I hear from a lot of investors there who don't know what's going on there. They don't know when the elections are happening, and it looks like a zoo right now.
Carlos Watson: What if you ended up with another fiasco in California? You don't think that would hurt California's economy?
Neil Cavuto: It's already like a den of thieves running the place. How could it get worse?
Carlos Watson: Ask Jeb Bush and Katharine Harris in Florida how it could get worse.
Neil Cavuto: You're saying that by delaying you're not hurting the California economy. I'm arguing everyday it's in limbo you are hurting the economy.
Carlos Watson: I'm saying it hurts. I'm saying California has a huge deficit. If we're going to fix it, do it right. March 2nd is the day to do it. Not October 7th.
FOX on the Spot
Jim Rogers: NYSE will become an electronic exchange.
Ben Stein: NYSE board member Carl McCall needs to go.
Gregg Hymowitz: Entire NYSE board needs to go!
Jenny Anderson: Arthur Levitt will be new NYSE chairman.
Charles Payne: Sell treasuries! Bond prices collapse!
Neil Cavuto: The economy continues to pick up.. which means Hillary Clinton stands down and doesn't run in 2004.
Forbes on Fox
Our panelists give you the scoop on all the inside business information before you hear it anywhere else in The Informer segment:
David Asman: Dennis, drugs of the future. What do you have for us?
Dennis Kneale, managing editor: The “Forbes 400 Rich List” is out this week. A billionaire in the magazine controls a company called American Pharmaceutical Partners (APPX). This week, maybe, or next week, new drug trial results come up that could make this stock pop. Most cancer drugs, before they get to the target, they lose half their power. The body breaks them down. This company has created a human protein envelope to tuck the cancer (search) drug inside it. By the time it gets to its target it’s twice as effective as it used to be, and this same envelope, you might be able to use it for other drugs.
David Asman: But will it lead to profits?
Dennis Kneale: The stock is expensive. Buy it and hold it for 2-3 years, and maybe you’re going to make some money.
Mike Ozanian, senior editor: Absolutely. Great company, great drugs, the stock’s tripled this year, it’s at about $40, I think. I might wait for it to pull back a little bit until I bought some.
Victoria Murphy, senior reporter: It’s working out pretty well from what I hear, and the integration is not as complex as one might think. But I think investors, hi-tech investors, have been a little distracted lately, by Larry Ellison’s [chairman and CEO of Oracle (ORCL)] bid to take over Peoplesoft. I think this provides a buying opportunity for Peoplesoft. Let’s think about Craig Conway’s (president and CEO of Peoplesoft) ego for a second. He really wants to stick it to Larry Ellison. He used to work for Larry; Larry’s trying to take over his company. The best way to stick it to Larry is to have a great quarter, bump the stock up, and then it becomes too pricey for Larry.
David Asman: OK, so the grudge match will lead to better stock price. What do you think, Dennis?
Dennis Kneale: Victoria has a nice idea, but I might rather buy Oracle, because if they win Peoplesoft, the stock’s stronger, and if they don’t get it, the stock goes back up.
David Asman: OK. Mike, we were just talking about rich people, you can’t always get into these big funds that they’re in, but you know what some of those funds have. What are they?
David Asman: Sequoia fund is one of these rich people’s funds, and one of the things in it is Mohawk.
Mike Ozanian: Accumulating a lot of Mohawk recently, very profitable company, very little debt, cheap stock, buy it.
Dennis Kneale: You know, the only thing I know about floor coverings is what I walk on, but I would trust Mike Ozanian.
Makers & Breakers
Mike Norman, president of the Economic Contrarian Update: MAKER
I like the pharmaceuticals sector. It’s a little bit defensive, this stock, this company has some very good drugs, Allegra being one of them. They have a partnership going on with Merck (MRK) right now. The stock is cheap on a relative basis, and I just like the sector. I think it’s going to do very well.
David Asman: Jim, could you ever like a stock that’s based in France?
Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: MAKER
I drink French wine; I eat French food, yeah. I think it’s a good company, I think it’s reasonably priced. I’m a maker on it, I would just add that there is currency risk in this stock. If the euro drops against the dollar, you could take a little bit of a hose on it.
Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor: MAKER
I’m for it too. I’m a maker. This stock has seen its profits grow, on average, 160 percent over the last three years. It’s cheap at $55, trading at around 17 times earnings, great 50/50 joint venture with Merck, and animal health businesses.
David Asman: All right, everyone’s for it, but does it bother you at all that it’s a French company?
Mike Norman: Yes, it does. But, you know it’s been a long time since Jim Michaels picked on me, so I thought I’d give him an easy one.
Annaly Mortgage (NLY)
Mike Norman: MAKER
I like this because, basically, this is a bond market play. I mean the way Annaly’s business is structured is that they invest in mortgage-backed securities, so they make their profit on the difference between their cost of capital and what they’re making from the mortgage backs. I think that’s going to go in their favor. If we get into another one of these cycles of down interest rates, which I think we’re going to have, you’re going to see that stock do very, very well.
Elizabeth MacDonald: MAKER
I’m a maker on this stock too. I don’t like this stock because it’s a “chick stock,” because half of its officers are women, not wanting to seem to be focused on feminist issues, but because the stock has a terrific cash flow, mortgage-backed securities typically triple-A. It’s a smart stock.
Jim Michaels: BREAKER
I’m sitting this one out, sorry. My objection to it is that it’s a REIT. The dividend, although it’s very substantial, is not tax advantaged. Secondly, it’s leveraged 10-1. It’s playing the yield curve, and that scares me.
David Asman: Mike, what happens if interest rates go up? What happens to this stock then?
Mike Norman: If interest rates go up, then you’re going to see a narrowing of their profit margin; it’s not going to do as well. They did cut the dividend recently, and the stock was downgraded, which is another reason why I like it, because I like to invest in a contrarian fashion. By the way, it’s still a very attractive dividend yield, about 6.5 percent. That, alone, I think, makes it interesting.
David Asman: I’ve got to ask you, Jim, if interest rates did come down, even further than they have already come, would you like this stock then?
Jim Michaels: Yeah, but I don’t think that interest rates are going to come down.
Stock Smarts: Give It Back?
$1,133 – that’s how much federal tax cuts (search) saved a family of four with an average income of $50,000 this year.
Some democrats on the campaign trail want to take that money back. So what would a tax cut reversal do to the economy and the stock market?
Wayne Rogers of Wayne Rogers & Co says a tax cut reversal would hurt the economy and the stock market, and he believes that any Democrat who runs on that proposal will bury himself.
Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times says reversing tax cuts will stop the economy dead in its tracks. She says we are inching forward in a very slow economic recovery and reversing tax cuts would kill any chance of complete recovery.
Dagen McDowell of Fox Business News says the tax cuts are set to expire over the next couple of years, and she says they should expire to help take care of a burgeoning deficit. She says as Baby Boomers retire they are going to want Social Security and Medicare and raising taxes would help pay for that.
Hilary Kramer of A&G Capital says the tax cuts did their job and got the economy rolling and if they were taken back that would help stem the growth of the deficit which would ultimately be good for the stock and bond markets.
Jonathan Hoenig of Capitalistpig Asset Management says reversing the tax cuts would be very bad for the market. He believes the best way to stimulate the economy is to let people keep more of their money.
Be$t Bets: Storm-Proof Stocks
We are fighting a war on terror while battling a sluggish economy, and we just weathered a hurricane! So, what are the stocks that stay tough no matter how rough things get?
Jon’s “storm-proof” stock: Turkcell (TKC)
Friday's close (9-19-03): $18.50
Jonanthan says the storms in Turkey are already in the past, and Turkish stocks are on a roll. He owns Turkcell which he says is strong in the charts. Wayne says with the Kurds in the north, he doesn’t think the storms are over in Turkey yet, and this is not a stock he would say is “storm-proof.” He says there are better places to get shelter from storms. Jonas says half the value of emerging markets stocks is that they are cheap, but this one is not. He wouldn’t buy it.
Jonas’ “storm-proof” stock: NetGear (NTGR)
Friday's close (9-19-03): $17.20
Jonas says the next “storm” he sees on the horizon is the storm in overpriced tech. He says the only “storm-proof” tech stock is one that is undervalued and will surprise the market with solid growth. That’s why he likes NetGear. Hilary says she needs to see a longer history for this company before she’s a buyer. Jonathan says there’s not a lot of price history to get a good read in the chart, but tech has been strong lately, and he wouldn’t bet against NetGear.
Hilary’s “storm-proof” stock: Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA)
Friday's close (9-19-03): $59.45
Hilary says this is the largest generic drug maker, and it has survived all the storms in Israel. She owns the stock. Wayne likes the company but he doesn’t think this stock is “storm-proof” because it is located in Israel. Jonathan calls Teva a strong stock in a strong sector.
Wayne’s “storm-proof” stock: Leucadia National (LUK)
Friday's close (9-19-03): $38.19
Wayne says this is a well-diversified company that is well managed with a stock that doesn’t move too fast, but always moves up. Jonas doesn’t like the fact that it is a conglomerate. Jonathan likes some of the assets this company holds, and he thinks the stock will do well.
Mutual Fund Face-Off: Making a Splash With Daryl Hannah
She splashed her way to stardom as a mermaid in the movie Splash. Now Daryl Hannah is using her star power to promote alternative fuel sources like biodiesel, and she is wondering what companies will pioneer these new technologies going forward. Dagen and Jonas came up with a couple of funds that look to these companies to make a difference – and make some money!
Jonas: Winslow Green Growth Fund (WSSGX)
Year-to-date (as of 9-19-03): UP 97.3 percent
Minimum Investment: $5,000
Expenses: $14.50 for every $1,000 invested.
Dagen: Portfoli 21 Fund (PORTX)
Year-to-date (as of 9-19-03): UP 22.8 percent
Minimum Investment: $5,000
Expenses: $15.00 for every $1,000 invested
Gretchen, Jonathan and Wayne answered some of your questions.
We took a quick look at the standing in the $10,000 Cashin’ In Challenge. To find out who’s ahead, check out: www.foxnews.com/challenge
Question: “Does it make sense to 'buy the rumor, sell the news'? Buying on the rumor seems risky, and why would you sell on good news?”
Gretchen says Wall Street is a perverse place, and by the time good news comes out a lot of people are already in a stock. That’s why this strategy works because those people that knew something ahead of the news, and bought early, will sell into the frenzy that the news creates and the stock will often fall. Even though the strategy doesn’t seem to make sense, it is not a good idea to try and fight it. Jonathan says the market is a forward-looking indicator that anticipates news, so if you are trading on the news, you are already behind and will lose money.
Question: “I have money in the Janus Growth & Income Fund (JAGIX). Now with the scandal surrounding Janus should I take it out?”
Gretchen says if this fund has in fact done what it is accused of then it has favored big investors at the expense of individuals and no individual should own it.
Question: “Will there be another market crash in October?”
Jonas points out that all stocks are risky and subject to a crash, and the higher they get in price the more likely a crash becomes. He says, “When you see froth in the market like we’ve seen lately you should be wary.” He is short the Nasdaq, so he believes tech stocks will fall, though he’s not convinced they will “crash” which would be a move down greater than 20 percent. Jonathan says increased government regulation, a weaker dollar, and higher interest rates make him wary of the U.S. stock market right now. Gretchen says she thinks there will be some weakness in the stock market this October, but she’s not sure about “a crash.”