Recap of Sept. 6: Sticking It to Stocks?

Stock Smarts: Sticking It to Stocks?

Are the Democratic presidential hopefuls trying to stick it to stocks by exaggerating the problems with the economy?

Gary Kaltbaum of Kaltbaum & Associates says the Democrats (search) are behind the curve on their negativism. He says manufacturing is getting better, services are getting better and we are going to see 5 percent growth in the economy. He’s not sure what data the Democrats are looking at to support their position on the economy. He says the loss of jobs we have seen is a lagging indicator: “Jobs always come after the economy gets better. We are dealing with corporations here who just went through some very tough times and its decision making time for them. They need to know that the economy is going to stay in good shape before they start adding jobs.” He predicts the jobs numbers will improve in the next 3 to 6 months.

Dagen McDowell of Fox Business News says the Democrats do have some ammunition with the jobs report out Friday that showed a loss of 93,000 jobs. She says the economy continues to shed jobs and that hurts the market.

Hilary Kramer of A&G Capital says the stock market is what you want to watch, and it keeps going up, so that means that no one is listening to the Democrats.

Jonathan Hoenig of Capitalistpig Asset Management says he’s not sure what the Democrats stand for besides hating George Bush and pitting the rich against the poor. “They believe that the rich get rich at the poor’s expense, and that’s just not true.”

Wayne Rogers of Wayne Rogers & Co says this economy is doing great and the Democrats have no issue besides the fact that the U.S. has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and they are not pressing that issue. He says he saw a poll to determine how popular a democratic presidential candidate Morgan Freeman (the actor who once played a president) would be, and he outpolled all the Democratic candidates.

Be$t Bets: Stocks to buy if you don’t believe the Dems

If you don’t think the economy is as bad as the Democrats say, then what are the stocks you should buy? Some members of the crew offered up some picks.

Jonathan says BUY: Four Seasons (FS)
Friday's close (9-5-03): $49.00

Jonathan says if the economy strengthens and the Democrats’ dire predictions don’t come to fruition this hotel chain should do well, and he’s considering buying the stock himself right now. Wayne says he loves the stock; it’s got a great chart, and the company does a good job operating its hotels. Gary agrees, and he likes their bathrobes. Hilary says she loves their beds, but couldn’t sleep if she owned the stock.

Hilary says BUY: ConAgra (CAG)
Friday's close (9-5-03): $21.75

Hilary says this is an undervalued consumer products company that pays a great dividend. She bought shares in CAG this week. Jonathan says he’s not sure how much upside this stock has. He says he would like the chart to be stronger, and he doesn’t see a real catalyst for strength right now.

Gary says BUY: Clear Channel (CCU)
Friday's close (9-5-03): $45.02

Gary says Clear Channel is a dominant force in radio and outdoor advertising, and he calls it a pure play on advertising, which he thinks will improve with the improving economy -- despite what the Democrats say. Wayne says the stock broke out on good volume, and he likes it. Jonathan says Gary’s “on to something” with CAG, and he likes the stock too.

Wayne says BUY: Intel (INTC)
Friday's close (9-5-03): $28.71

Wayne says Intel keeps raising its estimates for the full year, and he doesn’t think anything the Democrats say can hurt it. He calls it “a strong company in a strong industry,” and he likes the stock. Jonathan says it’s hard to hate a stock that’s been so strong, but he says, if the industry loses steam, Intel is the first to get hit, and he’s not a buyer here. Gary says INTC has had a good move and could pull back on any negative news. He’d buy if it pulled back about 5 percent.

Power Plan: Montana’$ Money

Joe Montana has made his mark on the football field, but can he score a touchdown on Wall Street? Dagen and Jonas came up with some funds that will keep the hall-of-famer in the green.

Jonas: Gateway Fund (GATEX)
Year-to-date: UP 8.8 percent
Minimum Investment: $1,000
Expenses: $9.70 for every $1,000 invested

Dagen: Vanguard Energy Fund (VGENX)
Year-to-date: UP 16.0 percent
Minimum Investment: $3,000
Expenses: $4.00 for every $1,000

Money Mail

Jonas, Jonathan and Wayne answered some of your questions.

We first took a look at the standing in the Cashin’ In Challenge. To find out who’s ahead, check out the website at:

Question: “I've heard that Canada will increase its spending on oil exploration. Does that make Calgary-based Pengrowth Energy (PGH) a buy?”

Wayne says Pengrowth is a well-positioned company that pays a good dividend every month, and he still owns it and still likes it.

Question: “Do you believe that Lucent (LU) will ever be priced like Sun Microsystems (SUNW) and other $3-$5 stocks?”

Jonathan says networking stocks are hot, technology stocks are hot, single-digit stocks are hot, but they are not his cup of tea -- though when they get a bid, they often move 10 percent or 15 percent all at once. Jonas says if history is any guide, when stocks fall over 90 percent they almost be never come back.

Question: “Boeing (BA) has been climbing nearly every day. Do you know why?”

Jonas says there are a couple of reasons the stock is going up: one is that cyclicals are hot because the economy is coming back, the other is that this company is on the edge of getting a huge “pork-barrel” $20 billion project to build planes that fill up other planes in the air, but it is not a done deal. Jonathan says Boeing’s been a Dow laggard for a long, long time, and all of sudden the wind is at Boeing’s back. He calls Boeing one of the strongest elements of the Dow right now.