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The Bulls May Be Down, but Are They Out?

On Wednesday sentiment on the Street turned so bearish that you’d almost be inclined to stock up on honey.

Of course it’s no surprise the bears felt empowered. The S&P suffered its worst day in eight weeks due to lackluster economic data and little movement in Washington as the deadline for a U.S. default loomed.

An afternoon statement from the White House added to the selling pressure; it said the government would be "running on fumes" if the debt ceiling wasn't increased by the deadline.

Also the latest earnings reports didn’t do much for the bulls either.

For example Juniper wiped out $3 billion in market cap after the company talked about a weak sales outlook -- and investors punished Corning after the glass maker lowered its forecast warning that manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung had cut their TV sales forecasts.

As a result investors largely refused to hit the buy button, even if they thought stocks were over-sold.

"We haven't been committing new capital. We've been holding off on making any purchases over the last few days," says Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management in a Retuers interview. "If you multiply us by the other 10,000 money managers, you get a sense of why the market is getting a little soft."

Given the market action there's no denying the bulls are down, but according to the ever-optimistic James Altucher of Formula Capital - bulls are far from out.

In fact, he thinks buyers are itching to gobble up stock - and for good reason.

He says on Wednesday “about 10 stocks went down for every stock that went up. Statistically that’s an extremely strong sign to buy.”

But statistic aside, Altucher sees plenty of fundamental catalysts that could drive buying.

Looking at the major negative in the market - which is widely considered the bickering in Washington over the debt ceiling - Altucher tells Fast Money the day to day lives of Americans aren’t go to change if the US debt deals gets done before or after the deadline.

(It’s largely believed Congress will increase the debt limit, it’s just a matter of whether they do it before or after the August 2nd deadline.)

”People are not going to say, oh my gosh the debt ceiling, I better not buy anymore candy for my kids,” adds Altucher. “People will keep moving along.”

And down the road he sees other positive catalysts too.

Next quarter Altucher expects Japan’s economy will have started to normalize and, on top of that, he says $300 billion in US stimulus will trickle into the economy. “We haven’t even seen the beginning of the positive effects of QE2,” he adds. “That cash is sitting on the balance sheets of the banks but they will eventually lend.”

That’s not to say Altucher is expecting a smooth ride. There won’t be some weakness in the near term, he says, but for “all of 2012 I expect will be a boom.”



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