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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/14/2003 9:22:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2003 9:24:01 AM EST by CAPITALIST]

Wall Street to Rally on Saddam's Capture
Sun Dec 14,10:03 AM ET Add Business - Reuters to My Yahoo!
By Bill Rigby and William Kemble-Diaz

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks look ready to rally when the market opens on Monday after the capture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).
In fact, analysts believe Saddam's capture will give a general boost to equities around the globe, as well as to the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries.

"It's broadly positive for equity markets," said Hilary Cook, director of investment strategy at Barclays Stockbrokers. "Concerns over the situation in Iraq (news - web sites) have weighed on sentiment and help explain why shares haven't rallied by as much as they could have in the face of some pretty positive economic data."

So U.S. troops' capture of Saddam, who was found hiding in a hole near his home town of Tikrit, could give the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - news) reason to extend last week's gains above the psychologically sensitive 10,000 mark.

London's FTSE-100 index (^FTSE - news) and the FTSE Eurotop 300 index (^FTEU3 - news) of pan-European blue chips also could get a lift from the news of the Iraqi dictator's capture.

"U.S. and UK markets could have the most to gain because war is expensive," Cook said, referring to investor concerns that occupying American and British forces might get bogged down by a worsening security situation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled this spring.

Spirits also should be lifted by the Dow holding onto its five-figure finish and the prospect of closing out the market's first winning year since 1999.

But some may think it's time to sell as valuations peak.

"I would love to see some consolidation in the market," said Sandy Lincoln of Wayne Hummer Asset Management in Chicago, who manages about $1.2 billion of assets for wealthy individuals and institutions. "It's a perverse wish -- but some of these valuations, particularly on the tech side, seem hard to fathom."

Stocks like the world's biggest chip maker Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC - news) and Internet high-flyers Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY - news) have led the market higher over the past nine months or so. But some investors worry that stock-price growth is getting ahead of profit growth, like in the ill-fated tech bubble of 2000.

This week could be the crunch time to decide whether to sell before the end of the tax year, or hang on in the hope of more gains.

"Valuing the market, based on historical reported earnings, makes it look very expensive," said Gordon Fowler, chief investment officer of Glenmede Trust Co. in his weekly outlook. "Valuing it, based on projected operating earnings, makes it look reasonably priced.

"The truth lies somewhere in between."


Further huge gains may not follow like the first time the Dow broke 10,000. Back in late March 1999, when the Dow first held above 10,000, the index took barely two months to add another 1,000 points and top 11,000.

This time around, investors are a bit more cautious after weathering more than three years of a bear market.

Now that the Dow has cleared the 10,000 hurdle again, few seem to expect it to make a run up to 11,000 again any time soon. But there's no sign investors are ready to bail out of stocks, either.

"There's a lot of momentum in this market," Lincoln said. "Clients have been wanting to get on this bandwagon, and really reluctant to get off it."

Last week, stocks gained, pushing the Dow safely above the 10,000 mark and the Standard & Poor's 500 to an 18-month high, thanks to broadly good economic signs and the U.S. Federal Reserve (news - web sites) commenting that inflation is not a problem, suggesting that it won't raise rates for some time to come.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) ended the week up 1.82 percent at 10,042.16, its highest closing level since May 24, 2002. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX - news) rose 1.19 percent for the week, to 1,074.14, its highest close since May 28, 2002.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC - news) was up 0.57 percent for the week, to 1,949, below the 2,000 level it broke through briefly the previous week.

For the year, the Dow is now up 20 percent, the S&P 500 up 22 percent, and the Nasdaq up 46 percent.

This week investors will focus on Tuesday's Consumer Price Index (news - web sites), due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), for the latest read on inflation. Economists expect a very modest 0.1 percent rise for November, according to a Reuters poll. Anything greater would be an unwelcome surprise after the Fed minutes from its rate-setting committee's October meeting, released on Thursday, showed the Fed considered inflation under wraps through 2004 and possibly beyond.

Housing starts and industrial production figures are also due Tuesday, with weekly initial jobless claims on Thursday.

Earnings reports this week include tech bellwether Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq:ORCL - news) on Monday and Wall Street heavyweights Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS - news) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MWD - news) on Thursday. (Wall St Week Ahead runs weekly.

Link Posted: 12/14/2003 9:23:46 AM EST
Tomorrow doesn't sound like a good day to be a buyer.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 9:25:11 AM EST
I'm not in anything. But careful. The market has a nasty tendency to buck commonly held expectations.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 9:30:37 AM EST
This is gonna be good!
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 9:43:33 AM EST
yeah, I've already got my long positions (few though they are) and I'm up over 30% in my portfolio since the end of Sept. Of course, it really shouldn't have taken much effort to get that return with the market action the way it's been in the last 3 months. I'd love it if it made a really big surge tomorrow - it would help my budget a bunch.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:04:14 AM EST
To make money you'd have to sell something. Of course the old saying is buy on bad news -- sell on good news. I personally don't want to sell until the new year and not in a big hurry.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:08:05 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:15:51 AM EST
Yep. I'm already at 30+ percent for the year. I can't really see that this will push it up that much farther though. We'll see, I'd like to be surprised! [banana]
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:17:53 AM EST
Time will tell; I'm not holding my breath!
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:25:39 AM EST
Let me reiterate. Tomorrow will be an excellent day for day trading. Will this news hold the market up past a week? I think not. I am into day trading amongst other forms of stock investing. I will be selling some stock tomorrow during the high, then rebuy the same stock back after the hype is gone at a much lower price. I Love The Capitalist System![:D]
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 10:32:21 AM EST
im bout to get charged an inactivity fee, so im going to be doing some trading soon. we will see tomorrow how things go. if my mutual fund (washington mutual) jumps, ill sell, if it dips, ill buy out of my money market account.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 11:05:45 AM EST
Good. I hope to dump some Siri tomorrow if the price goes up a bit! Almost did it last Thursday. I hope I am glad that I waited.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 2:50:43 PM EST
It would be nice to see my crappy little 401K go up a little on its own without another payroll deduction.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 2:53:31 PM EST
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