DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cavuto on Business 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 "Cavuto on Business Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Neil Cavuto was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Ben Stein, economist; Meredith Whitney, Fox Business News contributor, and Charles Payne, CEO of Wall Street Strategies; Jacob Hornberger, founder of Future of Freedom Foundation.
Neil Cavuto: Could people who want to duplicate 9-11 be set free, dealing a severe blow to our war on terror and the stock market? The Supreme Court will decide the fate of those alleged al Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to determine if they can be held indefinitely without formal charges being filed.
Ben Stein, do you think if any of these prisoners walk, or if there is a timetable for trials, that hurts the stock market?
Ben Stein: No not at all. If we allow these foreign nationals to have trials and plead that they should be released, it has no effect on the stock market. The stock market runs on the basis of respect for law. These trials just show the respect for the law and the free enterprise system.
Jim Rogers: Ben, you're exactly right, and I'm ecstatic to hear you say that. This will have no effect on the economy or the stock market. Our enemies want us to become a closed off society and send these guys to jail with no trials.
Neil Cavuto: A lot of these prisoners at Gitmo have been held for many, many months, oftentimes without any formal charges. If more of their rights are considered, does that make people think we're becoming lax on security?
Charles Payne: I think if these prisoners were let go, it would be used as an indictment against this administration and our policies.
Neil Cavuto: Were most of these guys rounded up in Afghanistan?
Charles Payne: They all come from different countries, but I think most are of Middle Eastern decent. It wouldn't crush the market, but I think it would have a negative impact.
Gregg Hymowitz: It's not an indictment that we use our laws and due process. If we're fighting for democracy all over the world, to not extend that to our own prisoners, our own rules and regulations is silly.
Neil Cavuto: Franklin Roosevelt, a democrat, went ahead and acknowledged, and endorsed, and accepted thousands of Japanese being held in prison for years.
Gregg Hymowtiz: And that is one of the biggest blights on his administration and on the Supreme Court. They were absolutely wrong and it was a disgrace.
Ben Stein: I don't understand what the mechanism is that would connect this with the stock market. Let's just say there are thirty guys who are going to be allowed to go into a district court and say that they should not be held here and that they should be tried in their own countries. How does that connect with the discounting of flows of future earnings, which is what the stock market does.
Charles Payne: There are a lot of things that do not have a direct correlation with the value of Wal-Mart but it doesn't mean it won't effect the stock on a day to day basis. We know this already. I'm just saying from a moral point of view, this is sort of like martial law. This is an emergency situation.
Gregg Hymowitz: We're fighting for freedoms and liberties all over the world, but we're not going to abide by it ourselves?
Jim Rogers: Even if we could let them all go, the stock market could care less.
Neil Cavuto: If there's a perception out there that some of these guys might be terrorists who are intent on hurting us and then five or six of them, or even forty of them walk, you don't think that would weigh on people's safety concerns?
Jim Rogers: Not if they're innocent. Not if they haven't done anything.
Ben Stein: They're not going to be talking about letting them walk. They're going to discuss if they'll just have a trial. Surely we cannot deny them a trial. I assume they're scum bags, but at least they deserve a trial.
Gregg Hymowitz: Neil, do you feel we prove we're strong on terrorism by denying these people a trial?
Jim Rogers: That's what our enemies want. They want us to close off and be an oppressive society.
Neil Cavuto: I'm not judging whether a trial is right is wrong. What I am saying is the appearance of any one of these guys going, could that have an effect on the markets? What happens to you, Charles, as an investor when you think people who have perpetrated terror are walking?
Charles Payne: There are a lot of things that impact the psyche of investors. Terrorists have a way of using democracy and finding loopholes in freedom. That's why they were able to walk on these planes with these weapons and no one attacked them.
Gregg Hymowitz: They're not terrorists until you prove that they're terrorists. Just because we think they're terrorists doesn't mean we keep them locked up.
Neil Cavuto: Just on that logic, during World War II, when we attack an enemy position and we take people prisoners how long do we hold them prisoner?
Ben Stein: They were not held prisoner forever.
Neil Cavuto: You just proved my point.
Ben Stein: We had some German saboteurs that were captured in America. Even they were allowed to have a day in court.
More for Your Money
Neil Cavuto: Should you be buying the same stocks as Bill Gates to get more for your money? Right now Bill Gates is betting on biotech. And he's betting big on some little known firms. But should you follow Bill's lead? Biotech has paid off big in the past, just as an example: if you had put $10,000 in Amgen (AMGN) a decade ago, when it was a little known firm, today you'd have more than $100,000. To compare, the Dow would have given you less than $27,000 over the same period.
Meredith Whitney: I think there's been a lot of growth, as proven by the biotech stocks in particular this year, because there have been so many filings to the Food & Drug Administration. The FDA had a new chief who was approving a ton of new drugs. That momentum has slowed down a bit and it's been reflected in the stocks going down. The FDA has been cutting its budget. It's perceived that regulatory approval will slow down as well. Bill Gates has a little more money than the average investor to throw around. I would pick industry leaders like an Amgen (AMGN) or Genentech (DNA). There are better sectors out there available.
Gregg Hymowitz: I think the FDA is the one shining star in the biotech sector right now. There have been a lot of issues with biotech and not a lot of money flowing into biotech, not counting Bill Gates. Increase in supply always hurts the biotech area and that's why stocks have badly performed. And also, biotech tends to be a non-cyclical growth story. So a lot more money has been going into those cyclical growth areas like the semiconductors and the tech stocks. That being said, it is expensive and the only bright spot is the FDA.
Jim Rogers: Biotech is going to change our lives. We are going to be different people in fifty years because of biotech. But investing in it is an entirely different thing. The dot.com business changed our lives but did anybody make any money? Virtually nobody did.
Neil Cavuto: In the beginning they did.
Jim Rogers: Our viewers should not be investing in this stuff unless they know a lot about it.
Ben Stein: I wouldn't touch biotech stocks with a ten-foot pole at this point. The fact that Bill Gates made a trillion dollars with Microsoft doesn't mean he knows a thing about biotechs. That does not mean in any sense that we should or should not follow his lead. But biotech is a heartbreaking sector. It rises fast, and it falls fast.
Charles Payne: There's no doubt that biotech stocks are cult stocks. When they start to run there's just a group of people who think that XYZ has the cure for cancer. And usually it's wrong. As an individual investor I would be leery of biotech stocks that are one-trick ponies. I like the larger ones. I like Genentech (DNA), the first publicly traded biotech company in America. If you just look at their financials, they're a top line revenue group. The growth grew higher and the revenue grew even higher. I own it.
Meredith Whitney: The pipeline is rich with IPO deals. And biotech IPOs have not done well. The pipeline is not so rich with new drug releases. That's slowing, and as a result the group can't do that well because the stocks are really traded off product releases. I like the large companies like Charles. I like Amgen (AMGN), which I do not own.
Gregg Hymowitz: If you want to play a very small percentage of your money, 1 or 2 percent, you can buy the Merrill Lynch biotech holders, ML Biotech Trust (BBH). They basically mirror the twenty biggest biotech companies. I don't own them, but if you had to have a biotech company this would be a good way to go.
Jim Rogers: The way to make money is to stay with what you know, and put all your eggs in one basket that you know, and watch the basket very closely. Forget diversification. That's not the way to get rich.
Head to Head
Neil Cavuto: Would it be good for America and business to tell France how we really feel? With me is Jacob Hornberger, founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation. Jacob, you have a reputation for being a nice diplomatic guy. I think that that's the problem in international relations. No one really says what's on their mind. We don't get to the point. France doesn't get to the point, and, as a result, things are in limbo all the time.
Jacob Hornberger: Well, let me get to the point. I think we're so accustomed to scapegoating and French bashing that we're missing the point. The point is, as we learned in kindergarten, you clean up the messes that you make. And the mess here in Iraq is made by the U.S. government; it's made by the U.S. media that cheered on this U.S. invasion. That's created a death trap for our troops. I think we need to stay away from the French bashing and start cleaning up our own messes here.
Neil Cavuto: Why can't we say, look we've done a great deal to help you France in the past. You are talking about us being rough and brutal in trying to liberate a country when you had no problems siding with a butcher who ran that country. Why can't we just say that instead of just couching it as we have in the international community?
Jacob Hornberger: Why can't we just say that the United States government had as one of its primary allies Saddam Hussein. That Saddam Hussein got his weapons of mass destruction from the United States and that we bear the responsibility for that.
Neil Cavuto: Then why don’t the French say, yeah we did that too. Here's my point. I'm saying, call a spade a spade. There is such gray diplomatic talk that no one gets to the point.
Jacob Hornberger: Including yourself Neil. Were you bashing the government postal monopoly for participating in the Tour de France after calling for a boycott of French wine? Of course you weren't because you don't want to be criticizing the federal government or its monstrosities, monopolies.
Neil Cavuto: We've criticized this government and this President many times on this show and others on this network. My point is this. Just be clear. The French have said long before this that they value their relationship with us. Jacque Chirac kissing Laura Bush on the hand. It's just a phony way of going about things. What if Bush just said, you know you just seem to be a phony worm. If Chirac just got back at Bush and said, you just seem to be a militant cowboy. Instead of saying that, everyone, on both sides, couches their opinions and I think in the longer term that hurts our international relations.
Jacob Hornberger: It's not a big surprise that politicians everywhere are phony, including those here in the United States. What would you really have the French do. Send their young men and women to go die like those Italian soldiers did? What do you really want the French to do?
Neil Cavuto: Here's what I would say, before you start talking about your conviction to start helping people deal with those and help those who've helped you when no one else would.
Jacob Hornberger: We are a nation of individualists not collectivists Neil. The French don't owe me anything.
Neil Cavuto: But Jacob, if I call you a friend then when times are tough I expect friends to stand by me.
Jacob Hornberger: We're talking about individualism not collectivism Neil.
Neil Cavuto: It wasn't individualism that triumphed in World War II.
Jacob Hornberger: Those people who fought World War II are dead.
Neil Cavuto: So we don't owe them or their commitment anything?
Jacob Hornberger: I don't owe anything to any Frenchmen anymore than he owes to me because he helped us win a revolution in 1776.
Neil Cavuto: Well, you spoke your mind and you said something I would've vastly preferred hearing out of Jacque Chirac and I did not.
Jacob Hornberger: I feel the same way. They're all phony Neil.
FOX on the Spot
Meredith Whitney: Gassing up! Buy natural gas stocks.
Charles Payne: Ignore the bears! Dow 10,500 by year end.
Gregg Hymowitz: More mutual fund scandals hurt the market.
Jim Rogers: Trade war will hurt market.
Ben Stein: Iraq gets worse before it gets better, but it's worth it in the end.
Neil Cavuto: Christmas decorations are out the earliest they've ever been, and besides me liking that, I think they bode well for holiday spending, and this will be the best holiday spending in at least five years.