Pros Say: No Market Bottom 'til Valentines Day

The Big 3 U.S. automakers may have reached a bailout compromise Thursday — or not, as the Senate and the House seem divided. Citigroup shares dipped below $5 and continue to hover near that figure, even after mega-investor Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he'd boost his Citi stake to 5 percent. Strategists told CNBC to expect more volatility — and no bottom for months yet.

Play Volatility — And Prep For Worse Times

Jeffrey Kleintop of LPL Financial said betting volatility — covered calls, long-short funds — is the investor's strongest course of action right now. He said recession has been priced into the market, but now there are indications that it'll be much worse than previously feared.

Romance the Stock Market after Valentine's Day

BlackRock's Bob Doll said that if investors wait until after Feb. 14 to make major moves back into stocks (as a Wall Street Journal article suggested), they needn't miss a big upside: "This market is going to take time to make a bottom. It's going to be over a period of months."

Waiting for Oil, Commodities to Stabilize

IHS Global Insight's Nariman Behravesh was quoted by The New York Times as saying, "It's funny that just a few months ago, everyone was wringing their hands over inflation. It's gone. It's over." Behravesh said inflation is now the least of our worries — and once oil and other commodity prices stabilize, the new deflation fears will go away as well.

America's Banks Need Dividend Holiday

Paul Miller of FBR Capital Markets says nine major financial institutions controlling $12.2 trillion are currently undercapitalized and over-leveraged. He said the government must help immediately by declaring the TARP program "tangible net equity," and called on the banks to suspend dividends.

Options Volatility Spikes: Retail REITs, Auto Parts, Financials

Rebecca Darst of said the prospect of a grim holiday-shopping season has affected even the best of the mall operators: Simon Property Group . Volatility in Autozone has spiked on word that instead of buying new cars, people are fixing up their old ones. She said volatility in financials remains extremely high, especially Citigroup and Merrill Lynch .

Defense Stocks Look Strong — Even Under Obama

America's ground forces must be re-equipped, said Howard Rubel of Jefferies. This makes defense companies look especially promising. He recommended three defense stocks likely to prosper in 2009.

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