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New Bull Or Sucker's Rally?

Monday, 18 May 2009 | 5:45 PM ET

With stocks making triple digit gains on Monday some investors are asking, "is the action the start of the next leg higher -- or is it a sucker's rally?"

Hedge fund manager Andy Kessler isn't riding this bull. In fact he's taking it by the horns.

In last week's Wall Street Journal he laid out a case that seems rather compelling for the bears. We found his perspectives so intriguing we asked Kessler to join us as a guest on Fast Money.

He told us in no uncertain terms, this sure smells to me like a suckers rally largely because there aren't sustainable, fundamental reasons for the market's continued rise.

Kessler believes it all comes back to the banks. Although they’re up something like 30% over the last few months the gains were not based on strong profits but rather the notion that “financial Armageddon was off the table.”

“I don’t think the bank problems are solved,” he says on Fast Money. “What were called toxic assets only two months ago are now called legacy assets. (And yet) the banking problems are not solved.”

And in the WSJ he adds, “you can't have a profitless recovery.

Essentially Kessler feels that government actions drove bank stocks, which in turn led the market higher. (In other words an artificial catalyst). As a result the move does not reflect fundamental hurdles still facing the market including:

- Subpart earnings
- Weak demand for Treasurys
- Big changes in health care

Word on the Street
The Fast Money traders take a look at today's top business stories.

And that's just the beginning of Kessler's rather long long list.

Perhaps another way of saying it is this: the fundamentals don’t point to the same kind of rosy outlook as the recent moves in stocks suggest.

And “until these issues are resolved, I don't see the stock market going much higher,” Kessler says.

What’s the bottom line? “I think the whole (rally) is engineered to solve the bank problems. I don’t have a problem with that but I don’t want to be the sucker buying into the rally.”

What do you think? We want to know!

You can see our entire interview with Andy Kessler toward the end of the Word on the Street video above.


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Trader disclosure: On May 18th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (EEM), (FCX), (INFY), (PBR), (TTM); Macke Owns (AAPL), (WFC), (AGU), (GE), (SKF), (SDS); Finerman's Firm Owns (PBR), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BAC), (WFC); Najarian Owns (AMD) Calls; Najarian Owns (APC) CAll Spread; Najarian Owns (BBY) Put Spread; Najarian Owns (BP) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BX) Calls; Najarian Owns (FAS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (HPQ) Put Spread; Najarian Owns (MOS) Call Spread; Najarian OWns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XLB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XLU) Calls

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