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.
This past week’s Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder chairman of investor strategy, and Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine senior writer.
Trading Pit: Stock Market Makes History!
What a week for Wall Street! The Dow and S&P 500 have never been higher — the Nasdaq also soaring. In fact the Dow Jones Industrials have gained just about 500 points this month alone and it's only half over. Where are we heading?
Bob Froehlich: 14,000 is the necessary stop to get to 15,000 — which is exactly where the Dow will be by the end of the year! This is a simple concept. There is just too much money chasing too few stocks. The merger and acquisition activity has been booming and it’ll be even bigger in the second half of the year. There is just too much liquidity in the market and it’s not stopping or slowing down anytime soon. See you at 15,000!
Adam Lashinsky: Anytime the market makes a new high, investors should stop and look at the risks. We aren’t going much lower, but we’re not going to 15,000. There is a big fear that some of the liquidity could dry up as the debt markets dry up. If this happens, the buyouts will slow down and that will have a big impact on the stock market.
Tobin Smith: When you have a run like this you should expect a pullback. But any pullback right now is a great buying opportunity! And most important to investors, the rest of the world is growing 4 percent, which is faster than we are. They are the driver; not the United States. Investors should buy the market dips. You need to be fully exposed to stocks.
Scott Bleier: The market is lying! The economy is not as strong as the market is telling us. What happened this week is a lot of bearish bets being closed out, short covering, and a very weak dollar forcing foreign investors to buy American assets. This will not continue! Interest rates will go up and the market will go down by the end of this year.
Gary B. Smith: As long as the Federal Reserve stays on the sidelines, stocks should be fine. The retail report the end of last week indicated a small retail slowdown by the consumers. But that is good because it means the economy is not overheating and indicates the Fed should remain on the sidelines. The one thing I think we should worry about is that the volume we saw last week was kind of light. Stocks had a huge rally on Thursday and normally there would have been a lot of volume behind that movement.
Pat Dorsey: We have more money chasing less equity. Equity is being retired off the U.S market at a rate of about 6 percent per quarter. As long as interest rates stay low and the buyout market stays strong, the market will keep go higher. The large blue chips, which dominate the major indices, are still cheap! And that’s what dominates the headlines.
You really want to know how good the Bulls & Bears guys are at picking stocks? We've got their best... and worst calls so far this year.
Here are the worst calls so far this year.
In the beginning of June, Bob said he loved, loved, loved the New York Times (NYT) when our guest Ann Coulter asked him about it. But so far, the stock doesn’t love, love, love him. It's stumbled a bit since then, falling 9 percent. However, he still likes the stock.
(New York Times Friday’s Close: $24.27)
Pat said, "Eat up Whole Foods (WFMI)!" in February. But anyone who bought it has been starving! It’s down 9 percent since then. Back then Pat predicted the stock would be up 50 percent in 2 years and he’s still standing by it.
(Whole Foods Friday’s Close: $40.50)
At the end of 2006, Gary B. said Starbucks (SBUX) was the best stock to own for 2007. Looks like all its Frappuccinos are cooling off the stock, it’s down 26 percent! However, Gary B. says now is the perfect time for a refill! He admits it won’t be the stock of 2007, but thinks investors should hold on to the stock and buy more.
(Starbucks Friday’s Close: $26.07)
In April, Tobin liked American Home Mortgage Investment (AHM). Maybe he should amend his catch phrase, “Right idea… wrong stock!" to “Wrong idea…WRONG stock!” It’s down 38 percent since then. Like the four guys before him, Tobin is also standing by his pick.
(American Home Mortgage Investment Friday’s Close: $14.09)
And the worst call so far this year belongs to… Scott! He picked Building Materials (BLG) as the best stock for ’07. Looks like the only thing this stock has managed to build is a big loss! It’s dropped 42 percent and has fallen below our show’s minimum market cap of $500 million. But unlike the others, Scott admits this was a bad pick and would no longer recommend buying it.
(Building Materials Friday’s Close: $14.22)
Tobin Smith's prediction: John Edwards drops out by November; UnitedHealth (UNH) gains 20 percent
Gary B. Smith's prediction: Amazon.com (AMZN) is amazing! Doubles in 1 year
Scott Bleier's prediction: Live high on the hog! Harley-Davidson (HOG) up 30 percent
Pat Dorsey's prediction: Tyco spin-off Covidien (COV) gains 30 percent in 1 year
Bob Froehlich's prediction: My kind of town! Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) up 15 percent by year-end
Adam Lashinsky's prediction: PC sales not iPhone boost Apple (AAPL) 30 percent in 1 year
On Saturday, July 14th, Neil Cavuto was joined by Charles Payne, "Be Smart, Act Fact, Get Rich" author; Laura Schwartz, laura.gather.com; Tracy Byrnes, New York Post business writer; Jay Bowen, Bowen, Hanes & Co.; Rebecca Gomez, FOX Business correspondent; Nina Easton, Fortune Magazine D.C. bureau chief; and Mike Norman, BIZRadio Network.
Bottom Line: Stocks Soar: So Why Are Most Americans Sour on the Economy?
Neil Cavuto: The stock market has never been higher. People are spending more and making more money. So why did 6 in 10 Americans recently polled by USA Today/Gallup say the economy is worse now than it was 5 years ago?
Charles Payne: First and foremost, I think it's a damn shame. The reality is that people are, to a certain degree, ungrateful and unrealistic. But, I can't blame them. I have to blame the media. The media love giving negative news. People are doing better now than they were at any time in this country. But, people are made to feel like they aren't doing great, and I find that despicable.
Mike Norman: I love Charles, and I usually agree with him, but I have to disagree with him on this. Look, 90 percent of Americans work for a paycheck. And those earnings, adjusted for inflation, are giving people the same amount of money they were making in 1980. And, by the way, those paychecks aren't Wall Street-type paychecks. The good news is that the stock market is off-setting some of that.
Neil Cavuto: So you're saying it would be worse if not for the stock market?
Mike Norman: It'd be worse. We'd have eight out of 10 or nine out of 10.
Jay Bowen: You know, frankly, I cannot imagine anybody would believe we were better off, economically, five years ago. Back then, we were coming out of a recession. Since then, we've had a remarkable economic run. We just entered the 67th month of the current expansion. We've had real growth that's averaged 3 percent. We've created 10 million new jobs.
Neil Cavuto: So Jay, why are people saying this? If you take this survey at face value, why are we bummed?
Jay Bowen: Well, I think Charles had a valid point. The media loves to portray the negatives. I mean, they show the plants that have closed and the 200 jobs that got lost, but they don't show the other plant that has opened with 500 new jobs in the same county.
Neil Cavuto: Ok, so you're saying it could be the media. Tracy, what do you make o that?
Tracy Byrnes: Well, part of it is because of the bearish media, people haven't invested. So they're probably sitting with money in money market accounts and they aren't taking advantage of the run.
Neil Cavuto: So they're bitter and angry?
Tracy Byrnes: Possibly! But part of it is that people have their money in 401ks, so they're not living off the gains. They're not reaping the benefits of this fabulous market, yet. And so, they're just looking at the fact that their adjustable rate mortgage is being re-adjusted, gas prices are going up, milk is going up… everybody's crying and that's the kind of stuff the media reports.
Neil Cavuto: Nina, if that were true, we would not have seen stronger-than-expected sales out of Wal-Mart, which you could argue is the lower end, all the way up to Nordstrom's, which you could argue is the Charles Payne end. So what's going on here? There seems to be a disconnect.
Nina Easton: Well, it's very easy to blame the media. But, let's not go there. The global economy is booming. But, there are some real, underlying anxieties. First of all, the war sours everybody's mood. Second of all, in the global and high tech economy, the pace is moving faster. You can no longer sit in an office, follow the rules, and expect seniority to get you ahead. You've got to be on the ball. You've got to be chasing opportunities at a lot of different companies. And let me just throw out a couple of numbers here. Since 1983, which is about when you and I got started in the workforce, Neil, the median job tenure has dropped in half. So people are moving from job to job. Another interesting number… more than 60 percent of Americans say they've actually had to change the kind of job they're doing.
Neil Cavuto: The bottom line for me for me though, is you would see this angst reflected in lousy retail sales…in much lower home ownership…
Charles Payne: The stock market is up because the economy is doing great!
Mike Norman: Households own $12 trillion in stocks. They own $24 trillion in real estate. The weakness in the real estate market is providing that additional angst.
Neil Cavuto: Tracy, help me with this. Those who lost value in their homes are still up appreciably over the last few years… the same with those who own stocks. So, a little perspective seems to be in order here.
Tracy Byrnes: And again, I know we don't want to blame the media. But we need to. We need to say things like that, because right now, your neighbor's upset because two doors down, somebody had to foreclose. And instead of getting at an extra $500,000, he's going to get an extra $400,000 on the sale of his home. He's upset, and that kills the psychology of the whole neighborhood. We need to reinforce this fact for people that actually, yes, they are in a better position. We might've pulled back in some instances but overall…
Charles Payne: If someone had their home appraised at $500,000 a year ago, in their mind, they're not going to sell for less than $500,000. Sure, it might be worth $400,000, but they're not going to sell for less than $500,000 if they don't have to sell. My sales representatives make six figures a year. I put an ad on line and in two local New York newspapers for sales representatives. And the last 3 weeks I had seven people answer that ad. We have 4.5 percent unemployment. People are made to feel bad because their house isn't as big as this guy's house…
Neil Cavuto: So why did you turn me down?
Charles Payne: It was that background check…
Jay Bowen: I was just going to say that another statistic that is very interesting is that during this expansion our net worth has increased $15 trillion, and that is more than in the first 210 years of this country's existence. Even though we had pullbacks in different sectors of the expansion, particularly housing lately, overall, the aggregate has been extremely powerful.
Neil Cavuto: You raise a good point. Nina, you know these numbers better than most folks know, and I want to focus on one thing here: You and I have both been following the economy for roughly the same amount of time, but the fact is, the same measures we use when we started out, unemployment, corporate profits, performance, productivity, those numbers are stronger today than they were ten years ago when Clinton was President. I don't want to sound cynical here, but is that the reason? That then Clinton was President, and now it's George W. Bush?
Nina: I don't buy that and I don't buy media bias. I just think that's absurd.
Neil Cavuto: No, answer my question. We have the same data in the cases that I alluded to… stronger than ten years ago. I know what you're saying about the war, but be fair. Go ahead.
Nina Easton: If you're going to talk about data, you're also going to have to talk about wages. Wages haven't gone up. They haven't kept pace with the upper income bracket. People at the higher income level are doing better. Corporate receipts are up, that's why tax receipts are coming up and the deficit's going down.
Head to Head: Greatest Threat to Capitalism Since the Cold War: '08 Election?
Neil Cavuto: Is capitalism under siege because of the 2008 presidential election? Charles Payne thinks so. Last week, he said the 2008 elections pose the greatest threat to capitalism since the Cold War. Why?
Charles Payne: The leading Democratic candidates are talking about attacking capitalism -- attacking the rich, and large corporations, for higher taxes and punitive punishment. They are talking about bigger government. I think this environmentalist thing is elevating man above God. I think those things will hurt capitalism.
Neil Cavuto: What do you think of that, Rebecca?
Rebecca Gomez: Charles is a nice guy, but he's also a little nuts and pretty dramatic sometimes.
Neil Cavuto: Let me tell you something: He has one of the best track records of anyone on this network. Having said that, continue.
Rebecca Gomez: Even just look under the Clinton years. There was economic prosperity and we had high taxes. The world's not going to come to an end. The economy is not going to blow up because we have some taxes.
Neil Cavuto: Laura, everyone does go back to Clinton and say he did lift the tax rate and we did fine. Is that the message that Hillary, or Obama, or any of these others are saying? That highest rates might go up and we'll all do OK?
Laura Schwartz: Absolutely. They're saying that in recent history we saw that a pro-business, pro-growth Democrat could have the largest economic expansion of peace time and could create jobs. That's exactly the message that Hillary, specifically, is taking and sitting down with business players around this country. In fact, this week's FORTUNE says that "Business Loves Hillary." She looks serious about the economy and that's what the Democrats are. We saw that last November. The Democrats who got in wanted to return to a fiscal discipline, like Hillary and other leading Democrats we're talking about. And they wanted to be pro-growth.
Neil Cavuto: But Laura, you're very smart. You also know that a lot of that growth and improvement in the deficit started when the Republicans took control of the Congress. So you have to give them at least a small tip of the hat, right?
Laura Schwartz: Well, I'll tip my hat to anybody when it comes to doing something right and I think it's great when presidents can build off of the good things others have done and fix the things that haven't been good that others have done.
Neil Cavuto: Jay, let me ask you this: Is there a sense now that if you're in the upper brackets, your tax cuts are going away and you pay more. In other words, capital gains might go up, but most of other taxes might go up… and that would be damaging to the market.
Jay Bowen: I don't think there's any question when you look at the leading candidates and the way their platforms are unfolding, this would be like a classic choice between a philosophy based on collectivism and one based on individualism. And this, particularly, can be serious when you think that potentially, the anti-prosperity wing of the Democratic Party could control the Congress and the White House.
Neil Cavuto: Mike Norman?
Mike Norman: Look, there's no question that in the midterm elections, we're shifting back left, but in this country, there's a long history in the shifts of political climate left and right… from the New Deal, the New Society, then we had the Regan Era. It didn't derail capitalism then. It's not going to derail capitalism now.
More For Your Money: $tocks That Could Take the Market Even Higher!
Charles Payne: Wrigley (WWY)
Jay Bowen: Potash Corp (POT)
Mike Norman: Washington Mutual (WM)
*Mike owns shares of this stock.
FOX on the Spot
Charles Payne: Dow 15,600 by year end!
Nina Easton: McCain meltdown drives biz dollars to Giuliani
Tracy Byrnes: "Hott 4 Hill" Video good for Hillary; bad for stocks!
Rebecca Gomez: Dems need anti-war momentum to win in '08
Jay Bowen: France becomes U.S.'s "Mini Me"; boosts Euro stocks
Neil Cavuto: Good economic news won't make the headlines!
In Focus: Huge Stock Market Rally: A Major Defeat for Al Qaeda?
Mike Ozanian, senior editor: The market's all-time high is kicking Al Qaeda in the teeth. Not only does it show they have not been able to slow down our tremendous economy but the market's high is a symbol of capitalism throughout the world.
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley bureau chief: Yes it's a defeat for al Qaeda, but maybe they were never the kind of threat you suspected. Maybe you've just been too afraid all the time and maybe the U.S. economy is bigger than 50-100 guys in a cave in Afghanistan.
Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor: A few amateurs can create a lot of havoc. But I do find it odd that the markets major rally on Thursday didn't make it to the front pages of many publications. And I also wonder why news of terror strikes that are foiled here also gets buried.
Victoria Barret, associate editor: The market didn't react to the chatter this week and I don't think it ever has. The market is doing so well because we have great systems and lots of global growth. That's the key to a lot of the great earnings that we're seeing. Is that a defeat for al Qaeda? It is in the sense that that growth is coming from countries that are flourishing and moving toward capitalist systems. It's a bit of stretch to link the two. It's more of a credit to our system.
Rich Karlgaard, publisher: The stock market, after this great rally, is up about 90 percent since its low back in October of 2002. Corporate profits are up about 140 percent. You could make a case that the market has been undervalued all this time. Now the market is finally beginning to catch up, the further away it gets from 9/11/01.
John Rutledge, Forbes contributor: The stock market has nothing to do with al Qaeda. Maybe after 9/11 people were cautious. But we've got great profits and low interest rates throughout the world. This is a huge economy and al Qaeda isn't going to screw it up.
RFK Jr.: Companies Not Fighting Global Warming Are "Traitors"
Dennis Kneale, managing editor: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made an idiotic statement and I think he should just be quiet. People love to pull out the "T" word every time someone disagrees with your view. And this is taking it too far. This is not an issue of patriotism, this is an issue of science.
Mark Tatge, Chicago bureau chief: RFK is right. Business is not putting what it should be behind this whole problem. They are paying lip service to this. The only way this is going to happen is if it's mandated or if public opinion turns against the large corporations.
Rich Karlgaard: We've seen this story before, in the 1960s it was mass starvation with the population bomb, 1970s is was global cooling in the 1980s it was a nuclear winter. There will always be people who have the great need to see the end of the world so they can come up and offer the solution.
Quentin Hardy: Exxon has said that global warming is true and that carbon burning has a lot to do with it. And we have to do something. The problem businesses have is they also have to execute to their quarter. This is a problem that takes place of 10, 20 years. How do you square away those things?
Michele Steele, Forbes.com reporter: I think what RFK Jr. is doing is appealing to a crowd at a large rock concert where anything remotely antiestablishment is going to be applauded. As far as companies go, 22 companies signed a letter right before the State of the Union this year actually asking that the government mandate stricter energy controls and stricter environmental policies. RFK Jr. is completely generalizing this.
Elizabeth MacDonald: I would like to be paid a dollar for every time a Republican called a Democrat a traitor over the war in Iraq. RFK Jr. did engage is some overheated rhetoric that probably did more to add to global warming than all the cows in New Zealand. But he is right. ExxonMobil did fund 43 studies; they paid $16 million to do this disinformation campaign about the science about global warming.
Flipside: Work Le$$ and Vacation More to Boost Economy!
Michele Steele: The average French workers gets on average 5 weeks of vacation plus 2 weeks of national holidays and their productivity is higher. The best way for companies to boost their bottom line is to get workers bottoms out of the office.
John Rutledge, Forbes contributor: French people don't have high productivity; they have a love of life. They may have higher productivity than they did before but it's well below American's productivity. Work is what creates economic activity; going to the beach does not.
Elizabeth MacDonald: We've become a society of overworked maniacs. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. When you keep people locked at their desks productivity goes down.
Dennis Kneale: From 1995-2005 the US grew jobs 12 percent, France only 8 percent. France's unemployment is 10 percent, twice that of the US. American workers make 38 percent more per person and produce 40 percent more capital than the French.
Victoria Barret: I spent a lot of time in France and did less work than I ever have while I was there. The real issue here is unemployment. And when France took away the 35-hour workweek unemployment has come down. It's a healthier economic situation.
Informer: $izzling Stocks
Mike Ozanian: Pool Corp (POOL)
Dennis Kneale: Yahoo! (YHOO)
Michele Steele: Microsoft (MSFT)
Elizabeth MacDonald: ConocoPhillips (COP)
Our Cashin' In crew this week: Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co; Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management; Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com; Meredith Whitney, CIBC World Markets; and Leigh Gallagher, Fortune Magazine
Stock Smarts: Should Smokers Have To Pay For Other People's Health Care?
There's a new push in the Senate to raise taxes on tobacco to pay for a health care program for kids. Is that a "moral" thing to do?
Jonathan: Smoking is a legal activity. A lot of people actually find it to be a pleasurable activity and it harms nobody but the smoker. What's immoral is to make anybody pay for health care besides the parents. This is just another example of the "nanny state" run horribly amok.
Wayne: Why that money would be allocated for children's health care is what I don't understand. Congress will tax whomever they want. They grab money wherever they can. Some people pay social security, but never get a benefit from it. People pay taxes all the time. It doesn't matter.
Meredith: One similar example of this is the congestion tax in London put on drivers coming into the city. The goal is to cut back on traffic. It actually worked there, and it may be coming here to New York. If you tax the pack of cigarettes, ideally fewer people smoke. Wayne said it perfectly that the strange fact is they allocated it specifically for a program. If you start doing that, where does it end?
Leigh: I think it's a great idea. I can't believe people still smoke given what we know about smoking. I understand that it's everyone's personal decision to smoke and it's legal. We need the money and we need it for health care.
This seems like a really great way to do it. Money talks. The congestion pricing is one example. The only time people cut back on driving is when gas prices go past a certain benchmark.
Jonathan: People want to smoke. People want to drink. Making a product illegal doesn't eliminate demand for it. All that is happening is violating the right of the smoker. This is saying that a kid has a right to health insurance more than a taxpaying adult has the right to smoke a pack of cigarettes.
Wayne: I have a different problem with it. You've got Congress, people who are absolutely immoral, legislating on morals. It is not their business to legislate on morals.
Jonas: We're missing the core issue here: smokers raise the cost of health care for everyone else. You want to talk about pay as you go? Smokers pay as they go and they should be taxed. Smokers don't just hurt themselves. They also hurt other people. They don't have the right to raise MY health insurance bill, which is what is happening right now. When you go work for a company, that company doesn't pay a higher health insurance bill because you smoke.
Jonathan: In Britain, they are weighing a fat tax, extra tax on sugar, butter, and fattening foods. If we have a socialized health care, that's exactly what will be the next step….the government involved in every element of your life.
Leigh: Lawmakers are the ones who put the Surgeon General's warning on cigarettes years ago. This is just one step beyond that. Is that a bad thing? Should we not have that either? It's there to protect people.
Should Wall Street Pay "More" Taxes?
A huge week for the stock market with the Dow posting a new all-time high, crossing over the 13,800 level. The economy is humming with multi-billion dollar deals and strong numbers from America's retailers. Now, Congress is proposing new taxes on executives that run big buyout firms and hedge funds. Should Wall Street have to pay more?
Jonathan: The rich pay all the taxes as it is, while the poor pay virtually no taxes. These proposed new taxes would hurt the most productive members of society. John Edwards wants a fair tax system. What about a flat tax system? Of course, he's never going to do that because he thinks it's the job of the rich to take care of the poor.
Jonas: It actually is a flat tax. Right now, those that run private equity funds or venture capital funds are essentially benefiting paying a lower capital gains rate. They are not paying an income tax rate, which ordinary workers pay. We need to lower income taxes and raise capital gains taxes back to the same level.
Wayne: You've eliminated something. If those on Wall Street are going to pay a higher tax, then they should be able to take ordinary losses. You've forgot risk. You have to get paid for that risk. Not everyone is going to win. For example, look at Amaranth Partners, which just exploded and lost several billion dollars in a week. That means what? That guy gets an ordinary deduction for that? He should, if he is taxed at ordinary rates.
Leigh: This is like steroids are not a good idea. It's an unfair advantage. These hedge fund managers and private equity funds are very good at spotting undervalued companies and making a lot of money on them. They don't need extra boost in the form of half the taxes that other companies and other people pay. It's about leveling the field and making things fair and even.
Jonathan: Does John Edwards really want to make things fair?
Leigh: It's not just John Edwards. There's a huge movement for this.
Meredith: I'm curious as to where the movement is coming from. Unions hate hedge funds and the private equity guys. I think the unions are inspiring a lot of politicians to be so vocal about it. Then, it's easy to pick on the guys who make so much money. The point is that the tax system inherently is flawed if you've got such inequity across the board and guys who are famous for financial engineering and financial ingenuity are finding loopholes.
Jonathan: If you don't like the fees, don't invest in a hedge fund. If you want a level playing field, then let's get rid of the tax exemption for ethanol, or special exemptions for mortgage deductions, or non-profits.
Martha Stewart Slashes Price On Her Home: Is Yours Next?
Martha Stewart's multi-million dollar Connecticut home sold for 26 percent less than the asking price! Will the average homeowner soon have to do the same?
Wayne: The average homeowner is already doing the same if he wants to sell his house. We've gone through the absorption phase and we're now in the price adjustment phase. Soon, we'll see the foreclosure phase. Insurance rates, taxes, and everything that affects monthly payments have gone up. The average homeowner will have to take a hit.
Meredith: We're going to be in an extended period of normalization. Housing prices aren't going to fall off a cliff. If you bought a house in 1994, you've made and average of 80 plus percent. You are only in trouble if you bought your house in the last 18-36 months and put no money down. Those are the ones who are in trouble. Many people have made a fortune owning homes. There have been 18 million new homeowners since 1994.
Jonas: Anyone who lives in a hot area that saw some of the gains could have to take a 25 percent cut just to move inventory that's building on the market. Those not in one of those areas may just see 10 percent cut. These homes are not going to sell themselves unless the 30-year mortgage rates go back to 5 percent.
Leigh: Prices are still falling. The past 3 quarters in a row. We are still in a slump. This past May was the lowest May since 2001 for new home sales. Right now is a great market for a buyer.
Jonathan: It's not looking very pretty from a market point of view either. For the first time in 5 years the REITs, the mortgage lenders, the savings & loans, the homebuilders are just about the weakest stocks I could find. Last Tuesday when the market fell over a hundred points, these were the ones that fell so hard. It's still a falling knife.
Best Bets: Great Ad$, Great $tocks!
Jonas: McDonald's (MCD) (Friday's Close $51.91.)
Wayne: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) (Friday's Close: $3,678.00.)
Jonathan: BP (BP) (Friday's Close: $75.01.)