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Dump Tech? Strategists Agree – And Disagree


The 21st century’s version of the new economy is facing a tech meltdown. Or is it? Two experts weighed in on technology stocks for “Power Lunch.”

Joseph Parnes, president of TechnoMart Investment Advisors, sees opportunity in market danger. He told CNBC’s Bill Griffeth that “institutions, pension funds” that took a beating on the oil price slide are fleeing petroleum companies – and are heading to tech stocks.

Parnes avers that “derivative problems” like alleged CEO option-dating scandals - bedeviling major players like Apple – do not affect the real value or concrete fundamentals of firms with solid production. Demand will continue, he notes, because consumers and businesses alike “all use technology.”

But Arnie Berman begs to disagree. The chief technology strategist at Cowen & Co. agrees “with the premise” of using weakness as an entry into a sector -- but warns that an “itchy trigger finger” for buying tech shares at a supposed bottom may be “premature.” The strategist sees weakness in PC shipments and handsets, and declares ominously that “the whole software market is vulnerable” in the first few months of the year.

FYI--we posted earlier that CNBC's Jim Cramer went negative last night on semis, cell phones, software, storage and handheld computers because he expects intense competition and seasonality to pinch those sectors for the next couple of months. He warned of the "January sell off." He still has a few best of breed favorites that have very strong products and earnings.