Chaos reigns Friday: Lame-duck White House and Congress are unable to reach a decision on how to solve the financial crisis. Yet Citigroup stock inched up, despite misgivings over CEO Vikrum Pandit's determination not to break up the financial giant. And while legislators dither over the jet-setting Big 3 automakers' fates, one strategist told CNBC that Ford Motor could yet quadruple overnight. (You read that correctly.)
Another 10% Down, Then a Bottom
Christian Thwaites of Sentinel Asset Management sees the possibility of another 5 to 10 percent decline in the markets before a turnaround. He blames the situation of a lame-duck president and "extremely" lame-duck management at the Treasury Department. Wachovia's Mark Vitner said investors are confused about what happened to the TARP program and people have lost confidence in leadership at all levels.
Fasten Your Seat Belt: He Likes Ford Motor Stock
Capital Management Group's Harry Clark said he's convinced a much lower market is not in the cards. It doesn't seem to be in the cars, either: Asked for a stock pick, he replied, "Don't fall off your chair. It would be Ford . Ford will survive, no matter what; [and] if we get the help from the government, that stock could triple, quadruple overnight."
Dell: Bright Light on a Grim Landscape
David Garrity of GVA Research hailed Dell's above-expectations numbers. He said the computer maker has more trimming to do, but should be in a position to thrive when conditions improve. He said he likes Hewlett-Packard a little better than Dell because it has more exposure to the enterprise market, and less to the dormant consumer market.
Financials Headed For 'Huge Rally' — But Tread Carefully
Peter Sorrentino of Huntington Asset Advisors said investors will eventually realize — probably around the middle of next year — that the banks are not going out of business. He foresees a huge rally that will lift all financial stocks, and then individual shares sorting themselves out according to quality. He recommends Wells Fargo and US Bancorp because of their strong balance sheets.
Scott Leaving Walmart: Surprise, But No Reason to Sell
A year ago, Walmart shareholders were calling for his head; now, Lee Scott looks like a hero, with his company a rare winner. Charles Grom, JPMorgan retail analyst, said Scott is leaving the company in great shape, the real question will be the company's future on the global stage, and the stock remains a "buy." ____________________________________
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