Looking Ahead: Will Stocks Pull Back?

Mergers and acquisitions are helping to fuel the U.S. markets this morning. But will the markets be bullish or bearish next year? David Briggs, Head Of Global Equity Trading At Federated Investors shared his outlook for ’07 – along with Bill Noonan CEO of Contravisory Research and Management

Briggs is bearish on the stock market. He says, “This year caught me off guard. It’s hard to believe that the pull back we were looking for ended in June. The next 4 weeks will be a volatile period. There are a certain amount of investors who will be taking profits. I urge caution before you join the party and that will give you an opportunity to see the 1Q earnings.”

Where’s he putting his money right now?

“I like healthcare– it’s been a laggard. The year was dominated by energy early in the year then information technology . There are some tremendous opportunities in healthcare stocks, but I’d be a little leery of buying the whole group – you have to be sector specific. In healthcare I like biotech and health cost containment – I’m staying away from places where there is legislative risk.

Bill Noonan says, “I think the market has come a long way over the past 6 months and I expect a pull back. But the pull back will happen in the 1Q of ’07 and then I anticipate seeing advances from there.”

What causes a pull back?

“The market has gotten further ahead of expectations, “ explained Noonan. “A lot is already priced into the market – the market breathes in and out – and we think the market is more likely to breathe out at this point.”

Noonan recommends shifting back toward large cap investments – and is also recommending companies in the consumer staples sector .