Feb 4 - With the Dow back under 14,000 investors are in a precarious position- take profits and risk leaving money on the table or ride what appears to the next leg of the next big bull market. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks may be taking a breather but that does not mean they are done with the race. A new scandal in Spain renewed concerns about Europe, and fears about possible budget cuts in Washington pushed stocks down. But it was not a surprise to Lazard Capital Markets' Art Hogan: SOUNDBITE: ART HOGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LAZARD CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The problem is when we get anywhere too fast there's- everyone- almost everyone in the market place is looking for a reason to pull back and I think we are getting part of that today." While he is bullish overall- Hogan's top concern is that the markets revisit fiscal-cliff like jitters tied to upcoming mandatory spending cuts from Washington known as sequestration: SOUNDBITE: ART HOGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LAZARD CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We either have to come up with a detailed package of cuts that we can do surgically or we have to witness what happens when the government actually makes cuts across the board to all discretionary spending so that will cause the usual rounds of debate and theater in Washington - that usually is not good for the marketplace." What has been good? The private sector. Of the 51% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings, more than 68% have beat forecasts. That's better than the 62% that happens in a typical quarter. And because of that, Hogan remains confident we are more likely at the floor or a bull market, than a ceiling- as does Wells Fargo Advantage Fund's John Manley. SOUNDBITE: JOHN MANLEY, CHIEF EQUITY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO ADVANTAGE FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Where are people going to go get yield, number 1. Number 2: aren't things really getting a little bit better? It's not like we just changed our mind because we changed our mind. Things are starting to improve so it's never a straight line up." Sectors with upside potential according to Manley? SOUNDBITE: JOHN MANLEY, CHIEF EQUITY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO ADVANTAGE FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm looking at healthcare, which I think has been flat versus GDP for three years. I think that can't stay that way. I think there is just too much upward pressure for demographics. I think the real rebound may come in technology where I think a lot of Europe has worked itself into these stocks. They have been under pressure for a while and finally I think it's time to buy commodity not quite yet so I'll sort of segue in by saying the energy stocks which are big and high dividend yields." Getting there could be rocky. On Monday, the CBOE Volatility index, which measures investor fear, jumped more than 10 percent.