Neil Cavuto was on vacation this week. Dagen McDowell hosted and was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Col. Bill Cowan, FOX News military analyst; Mike Norman, founder of the Economic Contrarian Update; Carlos Watson, Democratic strategist.
Help or Hurt our Market?
Dagen McDowell: President Bush wrapping up a week long trip to Africa (search), where the big question following him is will he use our military to help keep peace in Liberia? Gregg Hymowitz says sending troops to Liberia would be good for America and our market.
Gregg Hymowitz: Sending troops to Liberia would help stabilize the region. And would help us help the region to develop its natural resources, including oil. Oil is vitally important to the U.S. The U.S. already imports roughly 16 percent of their oil from sub-Saharan Africa. And sub-Saharan Africa has 7 percent of all reserves. Al Qaeda operatives are also in Africa and we need to establish friends in the area to help combat terrorists.
Jim Rogers: Liberia doesn't have any oil. There's no oil there for a thousand miles.
Gregg Hymowitz: I know, I’m talking about the region. By helping Liberia, we help the region.
Col. Cowan: Gregg's absolutely right. We have things in that continent that we need to do. And we're going to do them. We have a Pentagon team there right now analyzing that area.
Mike Norman: Going to Liberia will help us because the government will be spending more money and we need stimulus spending now.
Jim Rogers: Are you saying we should invade Liberia to help the U.S. economy?
Mike Norman: No, but the question is “if we do go, will it help the economy? And that’s what I say yes to. Government spending will be a stimulus to the economy.
Jim Rogers: Let's spend money here then.
Dagen McDowell: Colonel, what happens if we have another black hawk down incident like we did in Somalia?
Col. Cowan: We won't have an incident like that. Here we have a small peace keeping group augmented by other forces. All eyes in Africa are on us right now to see if we're going to go in and help them resolve their problems. We're just there to stabilize the situation. African countries can come in and take over the real major responsibilities.
Jim Rogers: Those African countries have been trying to stabilize that country for the last 14 years.
Col. Cowan: But without our help. Now they have our help.
Gregg Hymowitz: Jim what is your solution? Should we ignore these places and never get involved? Getting involved means a positive for the economy and a positive for the markets. We need to engage the people of Africa and open up trade to that country.
Jim Rogers: There are 900 million people in that country and it's the second largest continent in the world. How are you going to engage all those people by going to war in every bad country. Should we go into Zimbabwe or Angola too?
More for Your Money
Dagen McDowell: The NASDAQ rocketing 35 percent in the last four months. But, is this a new tech bull or a new tech bubble?
Price Headley: It's a bubble. It's nothing like the late 90's bubble but it is a mini-bubble. I think the important question is how long will this last. I think this bubble will last only another month or two.
Gregg Hymowitz: I think the important question is how great is the resurgence and demand for technology products. The stock market in my opinion is ahead of itself. And technology has bottomed. Now that it's bottomed, what is the growth rate and can it catch up to the multiples?
Mike Norman: I think we need to see what this bubble is based on. Businesses need to invest in order to advance productivity. That's what's keeping employment and job growth down. The NASDAQ is forecasting this upturn in spending and technology and I think it's a correct forecast.
Jim Rogers: We've had a long bear market and it's not over. Greenspan has been printing money. President Bush has been spending money. And that money has been going into the stock market. The dollar has been going down and that's been helping corporate profits. I say sell tech stocks!
Gregg Hymowitz: Jobless numbers are at a 20 year high.
Mike Norman: Let's not get hysterical. We have a 6.4 percent unemployment rate. Germany has an 11 percent unemployment rate. Things could be worse.
Dagen McDowell: What tech stock do you think still has upside left in it?
Price Headley: eBay (EBAY) is the steadiest tech stock there is. Revenue is 75 percent a year and it's growing. It's what Microsoft was in the mid-nineties.
Mike Norman: I have SAP (SAP). It's a play for me for Europe, which I think is undervalued. I think there's a play there. We're seeing the same kind of pessimism towards Europe that we saw in the United States in March.
Gregg Hymowitz: One of the companies we like is Nokia (NOK). It's trading at roughly 17 times next year's earnings. It's a very cheap way of playing the technology rebound.
Jim Rogers: I can find plenty of things to buy, but not one tech stock. I say sell your tech stocks. They'll be a better time to buy later this summer or fall.
Head to Head
Dagen McDowell: Should we stay or go? Would leaving Iraq be the best or worst thing for Iraq, America and our market?
Jim Rogers: We had two things we needed to do in Iraq: get rid of Saddam Hussein and get rid of WMD. We've done that so let's get out now. We won. Let's come home.
Carlos Watson: I wish it were that easy. The truth is we've left Iraq without water, hospitals, and good police. We don't want to be there forever, but we have to help them get back on their feet. We want to see a capitalist and democratic country.
Jim Rogers: Iraq has money. They have the second largest oil reserves in the world. Why are we going to spend $200 billion in Iraq? Let's spend it here.
Carlos Watson: They're running less than 40 percent of their oil capacity. They're producing a million barrels a day, not 3 million. And until we change that, they're not going to be able to pay for anything. Also, if we leave it will effect the other countries in that area. If we left right after the war you don't think people would have a negative feeling about our presence there?
Jim Rogers: If we stay and get bogged down and have to come home with our tail between our legs, then that is worse. They're producing oil. They were producing oil before we got there and they will do so when we leave.
Carlos Watson: We need a multilateral force there for peacekeeping, but also to pay for this. Why don't we move forward and finally get France, Germany and even Russia to help us pay for this?
Jim Rogers: They're not going to go and get into a quagmire. Do you think their troops want to go and get stuck there?
Carlos Watson: If there's instability in the Middle East, that's going to effect the United States stock market. That's going to effect job growth here.
Jim Rogers: There will be worse stability there if we cannot control Iraq. We have rarely been able to go into a country, go in, and turn it around.
Carlos Watson: Can we say Japan and Germany?
Jim Rogers: It cost us $4 billion a month to be in Iraq. In 4 years, which is how long it could last, that adds up to $200 billion.
Carlos Watson: The cost to us if we don't go in there will be greater.
FOX on the Spot
Price Headley: Sell DIA! Dow drops 10 percent by end of October
Mike Norman: Buy Stocks! rising rates helps market
Jim Rogers: Pension crisis looms despite stock rally
Gregg Hymowitz: Stocks dip when U.S. sends more troops to Iraq
Col. Cowan: Iraq military force created sooner than expected