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.
WALL STREET SURGES ON STRONG JOBS REPORT; MAIN STREET GETS HIT WITH PRICE SPIKES
JOHN LAYFIELD: We still have one of the lowest labor force participation rates in over 30 years. So we still have structural high unemployment and that's not going to be fixed with low interest rates. What low interest rates, the administrations, and the federal policies have done is they've greatly benefitted the 1 percent. They've made the rich significantly richer; they've destroyed the middle class. Wealth is still being created- Look at WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc. They're being created but it's not coming with jobs across the country. And with food inflation started to ramp up along with gas prices being high going into summer, the consumer is being left out of this. And to them, it does not feel like a rally.
DAVID MERCER: Last year in January, the unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent, we now have it at 6.1 percent. We have an average of 272, 000 jobs created in the last three months. And if we keep this trend going we'll see demand higher; we'll see companies hiring more and we'll see what we're seeing on the stock market with the DOW hitting 17,000. So I think there's a lot of positivity in the market and we're seeing that reflected on Wall Street and it's happening in the pockets of mainstream as well.
GARY B SMITH: Only half the population is even involved in the stock market, so 50 percent of the people out there haven't seen any benefit from this nice rise. Also, David talked about the jobs being created. Unfortunately a lot of those are part-time jobs and the total unemployment rate, which includes the people who've just totally given up, has remained high. It's almost double what it was back in 2000. Plus, housing inflation is still below where it was in 2000. So, all those people who've bought homes since then have seen a loss in capital.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: The economy is good but the stock market is better. The risk in the stock market is looking ahead a couple of years. When you pay the 17,000 DOW, you're basically saying we're going to the 5 percent unemployment range; we're going to get wages to go up and get consumers spending more. We right now have the unemployment figure of when the DOW blew through 15,000. So you're always kind of ahead, and that's what makes stocks risky. If we don't get that and have a recession in two years, that's when you see 20/30 percent correction. So we have to deliver on the DOW's expectation of a good economy.
TRACY BYRNES: If hourly wages aren't going up; your daily expenses are. It's just so hard to save. Therefore, so many people keep missing this market. The money is still coming and as long as the Fed keeps pumping it, the market will go up. It is an unfortunate thing that people are missing it just because they don't have the extra cash at the end of the week.
REPORT: RUSSIAN HACKERS TARGETING U.S. POWER GRID
GARY B SMITH: I think that cybersecurity is going to be just like the army, navy, air force, marines, or a pivotal part of our armed forces. I do think if we have a world war, it is going to be in cyber.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: I agree with the threat of hacking in cybersecurity. Russia has smart people and they're doing hacking with energy companies. Their M.O. is not making us dark like that picture but it is old school espionage. All these companies in their energy business are not run as well as Exxon. So, they're trying to get in, see how we run, and build infrastructure. That's a threat to our capitalism.
JOHN LAYFIELD: No superpower has ever controlled all four oceans like the U.S. does. Militarily we're not going to be attacked most likely. But if you look at what happened in Iran with the nuclear reactor melted by the Stuxnet computer virus, if you have a company that can spend a billion to $2 billion, you can buy an elite group of hackers; you don't have to have them yourself. And to me, that is the greatest threat the US faces in the next 10 years.
DAVID MERCER: I think it is a serious threat but I don't think blaming the Russians for it will get a fix or address the problem we face. And that light Gary B, I agree. We need to put our money where our mouth is and take action to protect not only our power grid but our infrastructure in general.
TRACY BYRNES: Forget terrorism, the grid itself should scare people. It's just old. Energy consumption is increasing. Government regulation and policies affect it. The bad weather affects it. It's just old and aging and I think that alone is a threat to our economy here in the US.
GREENPEACE LAUNCHING CAMPAIGN AGAINST LEGO OVER PARTNERSHIP WITH OIL COMPANY
TRACY BYRNES: This is Greenpeace gone wild. This is a sign of desperation. Lego must be the last minion of educational toys out there. It teaches spatial reasoning; it develops kids' motor skills. Kids aren't on their handheld devices for however long they're playing with Legos and to come down on this toy, I think it's sacrilegious at this point.
GARY B SMITH: If Greenpeace wants to raise their hand and say Lego is evil, I don't really have a problem with it. As a loyal libertarian, they're allowed to speak up; they're allowed to have their say. I think it'll actually probably help Lego by raising their profile even more.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I agree with Gary B. Greenpeace going after Legos for potential polar bears drowning in the future is just stupid. It convolutes their message; it goes after fossil fuels which are going to be here for the next 50-75 years. This is a message that doesn't resonate.
DAVID MERCER: I think that they have just as much of a right to speak to the partnership or the nature of it as much as the companies have a right to form that partnership. I think Lego is probably doing a new cost-benefit analysis to see whether their association or the costs of their association with Shell outweigh the benefit they thought they had in aligning with Shell.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: Marketing adult products like gasoline and cars to five-year olds to get them brainwashed so they already want a Cadillac when they turn eighteen is wrong and it's going too far.
PREDICITIONS: 2014 HALF-YEAR SCOREBOARD
GARY B SMITH'S WORST CALL: AMAZON.COM (AMZN) DOWN 10 percent SINCE MARCH 15TH
JONAS MAX FERRIS'S WORST CALL: COACH (COH) DOWN 28 percent SINCE MARCH 15TH
JOHN LAYFIELD'S WORST CALL: WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT (WWE) DOWN 29 percent SINCE JANUARY 11TH
JOHN'S BEST CALL: MOLSON COORS (TAP) UP 35 percent SINCE JANUARY 25TH
JONAS'S BEST CALL: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES (LUV) UP 43 percent SINCE JANUARY 4TH
GARY B'S BEST CALL: NETFLIX (NFLX) UP 47 percent SINCE APRIL 26TH