As stock prices collapsed this week to levels not seen for 12 years, a small chorus of experts, including several prominent short sellers, either called a bottom or said it was near. Were their calls bold or easy? We'll see.
Steve Leuthold, whose long-short Grizzly Fund posted a 70%-plus gain in 2008, bluntly remarked that investors should dump that fund. Leuthold is one of the smartest students of financial markets, so his views are significant, not least because he was a supreme bear in the late 1990s.
Fears of another depression are seriously overblown, in Leuthold's view. And the chief investment officer of Leuthold Funds told Bloomberg News that he expected the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to climb to 1,000 in 2009.
Seabreeze Partners' Doug Kass, another longtime short seller, wrote on TheStreet.com early in the week that the S&P 500 was at its low for 2009 this week. A bold call indeed.
Which brings us to Bob Doll, co-CIO of Black Rock, who thinks stocks, particularly energy shares, are very likely to appreciate in the near future. However, Doll, another hard-working, super-smart guy, told attendees at TD Ameritrade only a month ago that he doubted the Dow would fall much below 7,522. Oh well.
Doll also made the somewhat incredible statement that the Federal Reserve would buy stocks on the floor of the NYSE if it had to. Where is the Fed now? Maybe its buying program is as successful as its TARP program.
For several weeks, the stream of news has been about as bad as it can be. Every week another pillar of American capitalism-global giants like Citigroup, Bank of America, GM, AIG and GE-staggers to its knees or falls flat on its back under the weight of its own mind-boggling incompetence. As 20,000 Americans lose their jobs every day, preposterous buffoons in Congress spend their days either raving about golf outings or hiding in Rush Limbaugh's skirts while a rookie president produces a totally out-to-lunch budget.
Sounds bullish to me.
Evan Simonoff is editor-in-chief and editorial director of Financial Advisor magazine, as well as editorial director of Private Wealth magazine. He has spent more than 15 years as an editor and reporter covering the financial services industry. Evan is a widely recognized expert on personal finance and investments.economy stock market finance