This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 28, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Consumers spent close to $28 billion over the Thanksgiving weekend, half of that just from my wife.
CAVUTO: That's more than 20 percent better than last year.
Meantime, 58 million consumers are expected to log on from home and work today in what is known as "Cyber Monday." Online sales could hit $28 billion this year. That's a jump of nearly 25 percent.
Now, if it all sounds like great news — and it is — you really wouldn't know it from some of the headlines. So, what gives, especially when The New York Times and others are saying, well, it's not as good as it looks?
Let's ask the crew of "Cashin' In." In Chicago, we have got Jonathan Hoenig. Jonathan is the portfolio manager at Capitalistpig Asset Management. In Pensacola, Wayne Rogers of Wayne Rogers & Company, Jonas Max Ferris, the founder of MAXfunds.com, and Dagen McDowell, FOX business news contributor.
Jonathan, what do you think?
JONATHAN HOENIG, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, CAPITALISTPIG ASSET MANAGEMENT: Well, it was The Times, right, Neil, that had the bearish headline?
CAVUTO: That's right.
HOENIG: Well, all right, I don't really read The Times.
And I don't think a lot of good investment ideas ever came out of The Times, to be honest. Listen, the jury is not out. This is just "Cyber Monday." The jury is not yet out here. This is just Cyber Monday. People were in the stores. And we know, anecdotally, a lot of the lower-priced goods, you know, the $150 flat-screens, those went fast.
Some of the evidence suggests that maybe some of the higher-priced items were not moving as fast. But you know what? The Christmas season is just getting started here. The stocks looked pretty sharp to me, a lot of the Circuit Citys (CC), the Ann Taylors (ANN), the Urban Outfitters (URBN). So, let's not, you know, be judge, jury and executioner just yet, just because The New York Times could not come up with a snappier headlines.
CAVUTO: So, we started off strong, Dagen. A sign of things to come?
DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX NEWS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, because gas prices are down. Thankfully, the weather is not as cold. Gas prices, they are down about 30 percent from the record high we hit after Hurricane Katrina.
The if the weather cooperates, it doesn't get too cold in the Northeast and in other parts of the country, then people's heating bills are not going to be as high, and it's going to be good.
And, Neil, you say this every year. The pessimists dominate the news. They talk about how bad sales are going to be, and they always come in OK. And sales are going to come in OK.
CAVUTO: Wayne, is there a disconnect between the media that reports on us, and us?
WAYNE ROGERS, CEO, WAYNE ROGERS & COMPANY: Yes.
And I think there is something even more fundamentally interesting here, Neil, and these statistics that they have just put out. I mean, it's an indication — like Jonathan says — it's not the end of the world yet. But I think it is that what these statistics are telling us is that people want to buy in specialty shops, in niche marketing.
They no longer want to necessarily go to the mall, unless they're going to have a big experience. In other words, a mall today has to be like the Mall of America, or something where there's going to be bands and, you know, excitement and the whole thing to attract people there.
They want a whole shopping experience. Otherwise, they are going to go to that place where they want that item, whether it's an iPod (AAPL), or whatever it is, and buy it right then and there. And they want to buy it on a discount basis.
CAVUTO: Or they want to buy it online. But, either way, it looks strong, right?
JONAS MAX FERRIS, FOUNDER, MAXFUNDS: Yes.
I mean, I would like to be pessimistic about some of these stories, too, but I don't know see you can be. This was the season that the consumer was supposed to get wiped out by rising interest rates and high energy prices and high gas prices, which, although they have come down, are still higher than they were during previous holiday seasons.
And not just the high-end retailers — you go to Wal-Mart (WMT). These are the very consumers that were supposed to get hit the most by the high gas prices. And they're still there. And I think a lot of reporters and people are wondering, this is it? Well, it's not that great. It wasn't as good as it could have been.
But these are good numbers, given what's going on right now.
MCDOWELL: Well, it does look like, though, that discounts are going to rule the day. And one of the big worries, as you saw the retail stocks down today, like Wal-Mart was down — now, granted, these stocks are up big-time, almost 20 percent, in just the last couple of months.
MCDOWELL: Well, one of the big worries is, they are going to have to discount, discount, discount even more than expected. That might hurt profits.
CAVUTO: Jonathan, who wins out in the end, when this holiday season is said and done?
HOENIG: Consumers do.
I think the consumer wins out. I mean, to Dagen's point, there's a ton of competition out there. And whether it's the discounters or even some of the higher-end retailers, know that, you know, if they sell it for $200, somebody is going to be able to get it online for $190 and maybe from another discounter at $180. So, ultimately, in any free market, Neil, the consumer wins, and especially around the holidays.
CAVUTO: Wayne, when all is said and done, a strong holiday season?
ROGERS: Well, absolutely. And I think Jonathan is right.
And I wanted you to know something, Neil. The half that your wife did not buy, my wife did buy.
ROGERS: So, I think that between the two of us, we have got it covered.
CAVUTO: We took it all. Good. They will handle it.
All right, appreciate it.
You can catch these characters on "Cashin' In" every Saturday morning, 11:30 a.m. ET.
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