Recap of Saturday, December 6


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Bulls & Bears

Brenda was joined by: Gary B. Smith, columnist; Pat Dorsey, director of stock research at; Tobin Smith, founder and chairman of ChangeWave Research; Scott Bleier, president of; and Mike Norman, founder of The Economic Contrarian.

Trading Pit

There are just three weeks left in the year and it seems there isn’t anything stopping stocks. The Dow is pushing close to 10,000 and the Nasdaq is inches away from 2,000.

Tobin said stocks are going up. Right now, many investors are taking profits. At the end of the year when all this selling is done, these investors are going to look back at a fantastic fourth quarter. Right now, it’s better to buy stocks rather than bonds. This economy is on a sustainable recovery and if investors buy bonds, they are going to lose money.

Mike said the stock market reflects great economic news and forward expectations. If he were an investor and in the market, he would definitely take his money now. Next year when interest rates go up, that will be the time for investors to get back into the market.

Gary B. charted the Dow which showed that stocks have been an unstoppable force which met a downtrend line, that goes all the way back to 2000. Each of these lines is starting to come together. He thinks the Dow will go over 10,000, but then profit taking will knock us back down.

Scott said every time we get close to 10K, it takes out a bit of the resistance that’s there. People do want to sell at 10K, but eventually they will be done selling and the market will break through. Investors who want to take profits should take profits. When stocks take a dip, that’s when you buy.

Pat said the key is to look ahead and not behind. When he looks ahead, he sees commodity prices going up, interest rates going up, and heavy buying of speculative stocks. He agrees with Mike and said there is a lot more risk than reward in the market right now.

Stock X-Change

Mike, Scott, and Tobin each picked an unstoppable stock.

Mike picked Armor Holdings (AH), which makes body armor. He said $67 billion is going to be spent on supplies for the military, including body armor. He thinks this is a great stock in the environment that our country is in right now and it’s one that is going to continue to go up. (Armor Holdings closed on Friday at $25.07.) Scott liked this pick. He said it’s a little expensive, but sometimes you have to pay for a good stock. Tobin doesn’t like Armor Holdings. He prefers and recommends Ceradyne (CRDN), which makes the Kevlar that goes inside the body armor. He said this is sold at a more reasonable price.

Scott chose Colonial BancGroup (CNB), which is a small regional bank in the south. It’s cheap and it’s a very nice acquisition target. Its downside risk is very limited and he thinks it will go to $25. (Colonial BancGroup closed on Friday at $16.36.) Mike doesn’t think banks are going to do very well if the economy slows down in the first quarter. Tobin said it’s a great call because it has a great return on assets.

Tobin picked Eon Labs (ELAB), which he also recommended in October 2002. He loves that it has such great earnings growth. Mike didn’t like this pick. Scott said investors should wait for a day of weakness and then buy this stock. (Eon Labs closed on Friday at $52.99.)


Gary B. and Pat looked at two stocks that hit some problems last week.

First, the pair looked at Disney (DIS), where big name executives are resigning and there’s a lot of pressure for CEO, Michael Eisner to resign as well. Gary’s chart showed that the stock is still in an up trend despite these recent troubles. Gary loves this stock, as long as it stays above $20. (Disney closed on Friday at $21.67.) Pat said it’s business has been improving over the last couple years and it still owns some of the most valuable property in the world, but it just hasn’t been making any money off it’s brand. The Pixar deal is coming to an end and when it’s renewed, it’s going to be on much less favorable terms for Disney. Disney’s monopoly on kids is over with competitors like Nickelodeon and its corporate governance is disgraceful.

Next, the two discussed Boeing (BA) where there’s an investigation into its business practices, which led to the resignation of its lead executive and some huge military contracts are on hold. Gary said the stock had a little trouble clearing $38, but now is in a great position to buy. (Boeing closed on Friday at $38.00.) Pat said Boeing is losing business to Airbus, which will slow down orders for planes. Additionally, the company has big losses in the satellite business. There’s no way Pat would buy at this price.


Mike's prediction: Fed raises rates in February; stocks take a big hit

Gary B's prediction: Flu bug hits America big time; MedImmune (MEDI) goes up 20 percent

Tobin's prediction: Get ready for NEXT Christmas! Sandisk (SNDK) doubles in a year

Pat's prediction: The future is bright for futures! The Merc (CME) goes up 30 percent in a year

Scott's prediction: The good in gold is gone; gold stocks fall 25 percent by spring

Note: On the program Tobin Smith misspoke regarding Sandisk (SNDK) when he said the stock had pulled back to $50. He then added the stock would double to $100. In fact Sandisk closed Friday, December 5, 2003 at $64.35 after trading at $84.90 as recently as November 5, 2003. At the time of this posting Tobin Smith owns Sandisk and remains bullish on the stock. His prediction that the stock will hit $100 in calendar year 2004 stands.

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Cavuto on Business

Neil Cavuto was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of; Meredith Whitney, Fox Business News Contributor; Adam Lashinsky, senior writer at Fortune magazine; Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group; Tom Adkins, Remax Services real estate agent; and Nancy Skinner, radio talk show host and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Will Greenspan Kill the Bull Market, Again?

Neil Cavuto: I hate to rain on your parade, but could the good times soon be over for the stock market? Some have accused him of killing the great bull market of the 90's. And now some fear Alan Greenspan, the man who decides what interest rates will be, is about to do it again.

Meredith Whitney: He is a political animal and I think he is setting the stage to raise rates, but I don't think he will do anything at next week's Federal Reserve meeting regarding interest rates. The economy is getting stronger, but things aren't terrific yet. Consumers are still carrying 80 percent of the GDP and I think you need to balance out business progress with consumer progress.

Jim Rogers: Alan Greenspan is not smart enough to set interest rates. And in 2003, the markets set interest rates. He always follows the markets. The market is already raising interest rates. Forget Alan Greenspan.

Neil Cavuto: But if he starts moving on short term interest rates, over which he does have control. Is it too little, too late, which one?

Jim Rogers: He has very little control. But short term interest rates are already up half a point.

Gregg Hymowitz: Jim's right, but I disagree with Meredith. I don't think next week you will see any language change. I don't think this market is out of danger by any stretch of the imagination. We saw that on Friday when we were expecting to see 150,000 new jobs created in November, but we only 50,000.

Neil Cavuto: 326,000 jobs have been created since July. That's not stellar but you have to crawl before you walk.

Gregg Hymowitz: A number of retail stores this week have reported disappointed numbers. I don't think you'll see any rate increase for the entire next year whatsoever.

Adam Lashinsky: We began walking in terms of the jobs picture and Friday was an indication that we went back to crawling. I agree that the Fed won't raise rates next week, but they may have to raise it at some point in the next 12 months. But do they want to be doing it in the middle or the later part of next year? No. I think a small increase in February would be appropriate.

Gregg Hymowitz: The conventional wisdom is that they don't like to raise rates in an election year, but when you look back at data it doesn't really stand up.

Neil Cavuto: Jim is right. Greenspan is no Nostradamus and he was tentative when he went and cut rates during Bush Senior's presidency. And he just darned missed what was the recovery now.

Jim Rogers: Greenspan does not want to raise rates, but I think Adam is right and the market is going to force him to raise rates.

Adam Lashinsky: Neil, Greenspan did not kill the bull market but one could argue he let it go too far.

Neil Cavuto: Let's say rates do move up sooner rather than later. How do you play it Gregg?

Gregg Hymowitz: In that environment I like Stage Stores (STGS). It's at nine times earnings. It's middle America apparel and that is the stock I would buy. And I own it.

Meredith Whitney: I don't own it but I would buy gold stocks Newmont Mining (NEM). A higher inflation environment would help gold.

Jim Rogers: I would buy long term bonds. They will rally for a short while if the Fed begins raising rates.

Adam Lashinsky: Assuming there's inflation, then you look for things that are a hedge against inflation. So I look at something I own like the Vanguard Energy Fund (VGENX). It's a good solid idea.

More for Your Money: Homes v$ Stocks

Neil Cavuto: Would selling all your stocks and using that money to buy a house be the best way to get more for your money?

Barbara Corcoran: The housing market has never been better and it's picking up momentum. The most immediate proof of that is how long a house is on the market. We've never seen houses move in and out of the market as quickly as we have in the last two months.

Jim Rogers: If it's never been stronger, doesn't it mean we've never been longer in the tooth?

Barbara Corcoran: It's never been more robust than it's been right now.

Jim Rogers: When something has never been robust, such as the stock market in March of 2000, it was a time to sell. It wasn't a time to buy.

Barbara Corcoran: It's nothing like before the stock market crash. It's so very different now. Demand is high and inventory is still not out pacing that demand.

Gregg Hymowitz: Historically, the equity markets have returned roughly 12 percent on average, while home prices have roughly returned 6 percent. So the number speak for themselves.

Tom Adkins: You can leverage real estate. You can't leverage stocks. Can you put 5 percent down on stocks? Can you put 0 percent down on stocks? I'm talking about putting nothing down and buying a house that goes up $100,000 in two years. If you put 5 percent down on a house and it goes up 5 percent, you just doubled your money.

Jim Rogers: Do you not understand that houses can go down in price?

Tom Adkins: Of course they go down in price. You've got to use your head and buy homes in safe prospering areas.

Gregg Hymowitz: How much of the housing boom is driven by interest rates though?

Barbara Corcoran: I would say half of it. So if interest rates went up by three or four percentage points, it would certainly stop the market. But no one is expecting that.

Tom Adkins: Another factor helping the housing market is wealth creation. People now have more money and their pockets.

Barbara Corcoran: We're real estate brokers and that's why we have seen first hand so many people get wealthy off of the housing market. And that's why we believe it.

Head to Head

Neil Cavuto: Putting a man on the moon! It was indeed one "giant leap" for mankind, and arguably one of the best investments in our nation's history, perhaps world history. But would it pay to go back?

Nancy Skinner: Unless Saddam Hussein hid his weapons of mass destruction on the moon, I don't see why we need to go there. I understand the need for big challenges in technological investment, but I would say take the $20 billion or so that this would cost and invest in a hydrogen solar economy. Put a 10-year time limit on it and let's rid ourselves of Mideast oil.

Neil Cavuto: But what if we said that back in 1960 or 1961 when JFK was setting his agenda for space? We would've never seen MRIs, breast cancer screening equipment, fetal heart monitors. We would've never seen those benefits to society.

Nancy Skinner: You're right. I agree with you. Technological developments like fuel cells also came from that space program.

Neil Cavuto: And it can't happen again?

Nancy Skinner: That's a challenge we've already met. We have a more urgent challenge in trying to rid ourselves of oil or resources that we don't have.

Neil Cavuto: Well you mentioned oil. Thanks to advanced satellite imaging, we were able to detect energy deposits in areas we didn't even think had them before. Who's to say that great leaps in opportunities and knowledge aren't there now?

Nancy Skinner: It would take $4 billion to equip 20 percent of the nations fueling stations with the hydrogen fuel cell appliance that would allow all our vehicles to be zero polluting, better vehicles. Four billion is what we're spending in Iraq for one week. We need to implement this technology. We shouldn't be going back to do something we've already done. And we all know this is a military application and testing missiles.

Neil Cavuto: How do you know the type of applications we'd be launching. And a mission to Mars could lead to more pacemaker-like technology. Technology that could saves lives right now here on earth.

Nancy Skinner: The best we can do for humanity right now is to advance our renewable energy economy. That's going to take billions and billions of dollars of investment. We have so much debt. Bush talks about privatizing Medicare. I want him to privatize the debt. Give every tax payer a bill so he can see how much money he has racked up.

Neil Cavuto: Before our biggest undertakings like our commitment to World War II and the start of the space program, we didn't seem to have the money then.

Nancy Skinner: But we have pressing needs now that the President is neglecting. Bush's environmental policies are sending us backwards.

FOX on the Spot

Adam Lashinsky: Altria Group (MO) lights up in '04 and will be best performing Dow stock. Buy it now!

Meredith Whitney: Best bullish sign in three years! Wall Street analysts are not trimming next year's earnings estimates for the first time in three years.

Gregg Hymowitz: Beware of tech trap! NASDAQ falls in early '04 due to weak technology spending by businesses.

Jim Rogers: Cozying up to China will pump up profits in U.S. President Bush changes focus from Russia to China. That will help increase U.S. exports to China.

Barbara Corcoran: The house party rocks on! Home sales continue soaring in 2004. The only thing that could sidetrack market is increased worries over global war on terror.

Neil Cavuto: Fed governors and district presidents will start talking about a strong economy. This is the first step before signaling a hike in rates, probably sooner than earlier thought.

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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: Some say that big Medicare bill is a gigantic leap forward in healthcare for Americans. Others say it'll break the bank and most of us just don't understand it! So, Dennis, what stocks do we buy?

Dennis Kneale, managing editor: The key is more money for drugs. You know, the drug industry fought Medicare coverage of drugs because they fear price controls. They fought it for 30 years. It was shortsighted. Now, more Americans are going to be covered, more elderly, for more drugs that they take, and that’s good for almost all drug stocks. For example, Novartis (NVS), which makes the billion-dollar Leukemia drug Gleevec. It’s a great company. And also, for a company that’s weak right now and might end up as a takeover, look at Merck (MRK ).

David Asman: OK, well Jim, you like Merck for a different reason.

Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: You know, this is exactly why I don’t want Mutual Funds trying to run American business. Merck is a splendid company. It’s model, for a couple of years, is hitting a little bump. Everybody’s screaming ‘they’ve got to merge, they’re going to go out of business.’ It’s a hell of a good company, and 13 times earnings. And with all this money pouring in from this new program, it’s a stock that I want to own and keep.

David Asman: Joe, just for a second here, forget the stocks. The key is that this is a $400 billion program. It’s just laid at our laps. What’s the significance of it?

Joe Queenan, columnist: It wasn’t laid in our laps, it was laid in “Gen X’s” laps. The significance is generational warfare. The “greatest generation” got the “baby boomers” to pay for them, and with the AARP backing this, it’s basically telling everyone under 35, ‘here, you pay for everything.’ And they don’t like us.

Jim Michaels: Hey Joe, you’re making judgments here, but the fact is that the money is going to pour in.

David Asman: All right, Mike, it’s a done deal, whether you like it or not, what other stocks do you like because of it?

Mike Ozanian, senior editor: I like Zimmer Holdings (ZMH), which makes replacement hips and knees. It’s an expensive stock, but it’s growing at better than 15 percent a year. And I like a company that’s been a catastrophe, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ).

David Asman: Why do you like Bristol-Myers?

Mike Ozanian: It’s so cheap. It’s down 60 percent from three years ago.

David Asman: So it’s been beaten down, it’s cheap to buy

Mike Ozanian: Highest dividend yield in the industry.

Dennis Kneale: I actually agree with Mike. I don’t think the hip-maker-guy has much to do with this new bill, because Medicare has covered a lot of your medical expenses, but for the first time ever in history, Medicare’s going to cover drugs for the elderly. It’s a good thing for the industry, it’s probably a good thing for the elderly.

David Asman: Joe, even if you don’t like the fact that all this money is being spent on this thing, are you going to put any money in drug stocks?

Joe Queenan: Yeah, I already have money in there, and I never let any of my opinions affect how I invest my money.

Jim Michaels: That’s an excellent piece of advice. All we know is, ‘follow the bucks.’

Mike Ozanian: We don’t know who the winners or losers are going to be, necessarily, but what we do know is that healthcare, as a percent of the economy, has gone from like 5 percent to 15 percent over the last 40 years. It will probably be 20 percent of the economy in another 20 years, and this is a way to get a piece of it.

David Asman: But here’s a scenario, Dennis. What happens if Joe’s fears go to their conclusion? That is, we have socialized medicine. Doesn’t that put a halt to all profits in pharmaceuticals?

Dennis Kneale: That would, but we don’t have socialized medicine. HMO’s have gathered patients together to give discounts, because we’ll buy more of your drugs if you give us a cheap rate. Now you have the largest HMO in the world, you have the Medicare roles.

Jim Michaels: The nice thing about this bill is, it doesn’t create a single buyer. And the result of that is, there will be pressure on drug prices, but it won’t be the kind of pressure you’ve got if the Federal Government was the only purchaser. So, in that sense, this is a good bill for private enterprise.

Mike Ozanian: Once Ted Kennedy leaves the Senate, the push for socialized medicine will abate.

Makers & Breakers

• Liz Claiborne (LIZ )

Arne Alsin, portfolio manager of Alsin Capital Management: MAKER

It’s a cheap stock. It’s got a stellar record of 10 years of growth of sales earnings. It sells at a good discount in terms of their free cash flow. Strong balance sheet, great management, I think the stock could get to at least $45, next year.

Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: BREAKER

It’s a great business. You have your stuff made by 57-cent-an-hour labor, you bring it over here and sell it at American prices. It’s a great business, but on the other hand, it’s competitive as hell, there’s going to be pressure on these cheap labor imports, and I think the stock should probably sell at a low P.E. I wouldn’t buy it here.

Pete Newcomb, senior editor: MAKER

I thought that Jim would dismiss this as a ‘fickle-fashion’ stock. You know, I’ve got a closet full of this stuff, believe it or not, and at twelve times forward earnings, I like it.

• Commerce Bancorp (CBH )

Arne Alsin: MAKER

Nobody rolls out the red carpet for the retail bank customer like Commerce Bank. Open 7 days a week, extended hours, the other bankers just don’t get it. When you take care of the customer, you can attract deposits. Commerce Bank is doing that, growing deposits at 35 percent year over year.

David Asman: They have hundreds of branches and every one of them is treated really nicely.

Arne Alsin: They have 270 branches and every one of them is profitable.

David Asman: Trading now at about $52, or so (Friday’s close: $51.63), how high do you think it can go up?

Arne Alsin: Sixteen times next year’s earnings, I think it can get to $60, easy. I would hold it for several of years because I think there’s a lot of growth ahead.

Pete Newcomb: BREAKER

You know what? We like this. Our family opened up two accounts for the kids, because they’re open on the weekends, however when I go in there on the weekends, there’s nobody there. That scares me. The other thing is, the CEO’s wife gets paid to design the interiors of some of their banks, and that kind of gives me the creeps, so I’d stay away.

Jim Michaels: BREAKER

Well, if it’s a good design, maybe she’s worth it. But the fact is, the big banks got out of this business for a reason. It’s a niche market. Yeah, this company can grow, but it’s 20 times earnings. It’s a marginal buy, in my opinion.

Arne Alsin: I think this is the Home Depot (HD) or the Wal-Mart (WMT) of the retail banking franchise. If you take care of the retail bank customer, he’ll come back.

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Cashin' In

Stock Smarts: A Christmas Gift From The Market?

Is the stock market about to give us a gift? Since March 11, 2003, the Dow is up 31 percent. Typically, we see at least two pullbacks of 5 percent in a year (the last one coming in March of 2003). So are we due for another, and should you buy into the dip?

Gary Kaltbaum of Kaltbaum & Associates says “yes and yes” – the market is due for a dip and you should buy. The dip will be healthy for the market. What he likes right now is that the market it going through “rotational corrections” – money moving out of one sector and into another sector (he mentions oil services stocks going down while retailing stocks went up). The market internals are in great shape right now – and he hopes we get a correction; he would be buying with abandon when we get one.

Jonathan Hoenig of Capitalistpig Asset Management does think that the market is strong, but he does not believe in the philosophy of buying into weakness – he looks for strength. He is still very bullish on foreign stocks and commodity plays.

Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times thinks we could see a dip, but want you want to look for is a bigger dip, along the lines of 10 percent, since the market has gone up so much this year. She also has a fear in 2004 of a rise in interest rates. She does say that the earlier the better (in terms of when the move comes), since the election is coming in November.

Dagen McDowell of Fox Business News says the fact that we got a weaker than expected jobs report last Friday bodes well for interest rates, in terms of rates staying where they are. There are still reasonably priced big-cap stocks out there. People also aren’t worried about a war heading into 2004, which bodes well for the market.

Jonas Max Ferris of says that buying on a dip is good when stocks are cheap, which is not the case now. A small dip is not a buying opportunity – he would look for a dip along the line of 20 percent in certain sectors (tech for one) before you buy in to the market.

Best Bet$: Bargain Buys

To make money, you need to know two things: the best stocks to buy and the right price to buy them. Our crew came up with some picks and some prices.

Jonas says buy Merck (MRK) at $40
Friday's close (12-5-03): $43.07

Jonas says that if you can get Merck at $40, it’s a great play for the long haul – the stock is going to $60, it’s great industry and it’s growing “huge”. Jonathan is tired of hearing about Merck, and says that this stock “sucks”. But he does like some drug companies - he owns Novartis (NVS) and Bayer (BAY). Gary says the company’s earnings are the same as they were four years ago, and there are other places to go in the drug sector. He just doesn’t see earnings growth for Merck.

Gary says buy Newmont Mining (NEM) at $46
Friday's close (12-5-03): $49.59

Both Gary and Jonathan picked this stock back on September 27, 2003, when the stock was at $38.91. At $46 on a pullback, this stock is a buy. He says that gold is in a bull market, and the fact that no one is talking about it is a good sign for more strength to come. Jonathan likes the commodity plays – owns ASA Limited (ASA), another mining stock. Jonas thinks they are nuts; gold is a collectable, not a long-term investment.

Jonathan says buy Plum Creek (PCL) now
Friday's close (12-5-03): $27.07

Domestically, Jonathan likes “hard assets”, and Plum Creek is a timber company that is a buy now (he does own shares of PCL). Jonas says this is a bad play; the housing market is at the top of the bubble and this stock is ready to fall. Gary likes this stock – he says it has been in a base for around three year, but if it breaks out, he will buy it for income investors.

Stock of the Week

Gary says General Motors (GM) is the stock to buy Monday. Jonas says no way!

Gary says the big money is flowing into GM. The institutional crowd bought the daylights out of the automakers, noting that they are dropping a lot of their discounts. He notes that sales are in good shape, and for GM, the fact that the stock market is doing well is good for its pension plan. Jonas says it’s going to pop down – all the things that Gary mentioned were factored into the stock last week.

We’ll post the week’s return here next Saturday.

Last Week's Stock of the Week

Joe Battipagia said Activision (ATVI) was the stock to own last week. Activision gained 1.6 percent last week.

Cashin' In Challenge

To find out who’s ahead in the $10,000 “Cashin’ In Challenge”, check out the Web site at:

Money Mail

Gretchen, Jonathan and Dagen answered some of your questions.

Question: “If we pay brokers a salary instead of commissions, would that keep them more honest?”

Gretchen (who was once a broker) has been advocating this for years. Unfortunately, while there are a lot of honest brokers, there are plenty of brokers who need to make the mortgage payments, and will do whatever it takes to make those commissions, even at the expense of investors. So she says that salaries are the way to go – but it will never happen. Dagen says that in the meantime, use your skepticism when someone is trying to sell you something.

Question: “Is it worth is to keep buying Disney (DIS)? I work for the mouse.”

Dagen says that if you work at Disney, you don’t need to be buying the stock, as your livelihood is already tied to the success of the company. But the stock could go up to $30. Jonathan thinks Disney is strong (“as the Dow goes, so goes Disney” he says). He owns a company called Modern Times (MTGNY), a Swedish media play. Gretchen thinks the stock could really pop is Michael Eisner is forced out.

Question: “What is wrong with Raytheon (RTN)? We’re in a war, they continue to sign contracts, but the stock is shaky. Why?”

Jonathan doesn’t like Raytheon – it’s a weak stock that has been weak for a long time. He just doesn’t see it doing anything. Dagen says Wall Street investors don’t trust the stock.

Question: “We have $500,000. We are waiting for a market drop to get back into funds. Have we missed it?”

Gretchen says $500,000 is a lot of money. Throwing it all into stock funds isn’t the best plan. Maybe look at bond funds or TIPs – inflation protected bonds. Jonathan says you allocate your assets slowly – starting with European and commodity plays.

Question: “What are the prospects for REITs in 2004?”

Dagen says they have done well in 2003, but if interest rates rise, you don’t want to be in REITs. Jonathans says they are still strong.