The debate about whether stocks are bottoming has been raging since last Tuesday and we've heard all points of view. But comments from market guru Bob Doll today got our attention.
"No one rings the bell at the bottom, but I think I hear a bell ringing," Doll said on "Squawk Box."
Doll, chief investment officer and vice chairman at BlackRock said last week was an important turning point for the stock market for a number of reasons:
*The failure of Bear Stearns
*The Fed opened its window to non bank financial institutions
*Easing capital restrictions for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
*Largest daily gain for stocks in five years
*Sharp correction in commodities prices
*Bush Administration talking about more housing relief
"Now I'm not making a case it's a "V" bottom, but I do think an important low occurred last Monday, following an important low in January," he said. Doll said he expects any recovery in the economy to be "anemic" and should have problems into 2009. He said stocks should bounce along, not take off in a sharp move up.
"This is a business of probability. What I'm thinking is with greater than 50 percent probability, we've made an important secondary low, and therefore I think the risk reward suggests the equity market is more interesting."
Some of the stocks Doll likes are some early cyclicals, like retailers Gap, Best Buy, and TJX. He also likes big techs like Hewlett Packard and IBM. He said his firm also likes health care, including Pfizer, with its more than six percent yield. He said he is still underweighting financials though he has been telling us he's been dipping into the group.
"It doesn't mean we're not going to go back and testing some more. That certainly could happen but we think the risk reward suggests you want to be accumulating stocks if your time horizon is a year or more," he said.