Is the Stock Market Doomed?

As stocks move back into a full-fledged bear market, you might expect a lot of fear from investors.

Background information:


We asked our panel:

Is the stock market doomed?



NO 8

The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

Stefan AbramsManaging Partner, Bryden-Abrams Investment Management
Absolutely not. The mere fact that you are posing this question tells me we are approaching a capitulation phase during which the last of the weak holders will soon be flushed out, and the ownership of our nation’s capital stock will move into the hands of knowledgeable long term investors, where it belongs.

Joe Battipaglia
Market Strategist, Stifel Nicolaus
The correction will continue until investors finally adjust to slow economic growth, the continuing credit shakeout and resulting lower earnings expectations.

Jared Bernstein
Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute
No, of course not. It's just got more false bottoms than a magician's suitcase. There are major economic headwinds out there, and the U.S. economy has been growing way below trend for three quarters (07Q4-08Q2). It's called the business cycle and financial markets are not immune.

Jerry BowyerChief Economist, Benchmark Financial Network
Forget fatalism – leadership matters. John McCain could break with his present fuzzy thinking and embrace his Reaganite roots. It’s up to him. Obama could break with his hard left roots and embrace the neglected JFK legacy. Even if we investors end up stuck with 4 years of euro-socialism, we can still find ways to work around it, and survive while the electorate relearns how the world really works.

Vince FarrellScotsman Capital Management
Stocks are priced (almost) to the worst case. The market will recover although I can't see a rally if the Fed/Treasury don't act to defend the dollar.

Jim LaCampPortfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
We have now broken the January and March lows...and haven't attacked October highs. This is a bear trend. But cash on sidelines, lack of alternatives and many pockets of earnings strength should make this a somewhat ephemeral bear.

Art LafferFmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
The stock market is not doomed but it is in a lot of trouble. I would expect a nice rally sometime between now and mid 2009, but long term I don’t think that there will be a major positive change in valuations unless there are drastic improvements in proposed macro economic policies.

Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
Of course the stock market is not doomed. It was lower on March 17, and it wasn't doomed then. Why should it be doomed now?

Five out of ten S&P 500 sectors are at all-time high forward earnings. Nominal interest rates are low and real interest rates are negative.

Give me a break. The very fact that you are asking that question means it's time to buy. Buck up.

Steve MooreSr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
It's doomed until the fed reverses course and starts raising interest rates to strengthen the dollar.

James Pethokoukis
Sr. Writer, U.S. News & World Report (Money & Business)
While stocks have long shaken off higher oil prices, the weak dollar plus a superspike in prices are really weighing on today's market. I think oil prices will come down and the dollar strengthen, but that could coincide with the realization that a President Obama (the likely election winner) means the most anti-investor policies seen in a generation. Always invest for the long-term, of course, but the "long term" might be very long indeed.

Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
But don't look for a major turnaround any time soon. Consumers are tapped out -- deep in debt, facing higher fuel and food costs, and worried about their jobs. Their homes, which have been their piggy banks, are still losing value. Remember: Consumer spending is 70 percent of the economy. We won't see an end to this recession until wages start rising, or we get a more progressive tax system, or both.

Gary Shilling
A. Gary Shilling & Co. President
With the recession and financial crises deepening and spreading, stock market declines to the 2002 lows of 7286 for the Dow, 777 for the S&P 500 and 1114 for the NASDAQ are not unthinkable. If so, the advance since then would be a bear market rally in the decline that commenced in March 2000.