...DESPITE THE BEAR STEARNS BAILOUT AND THE FED'S rate cut, a sense of foreboding is still abroad on Wall and Main Streets. Few investors feel good with an economic slowdown gathering force, the dollar in the dumps and contagion threatening to hit financial sectors previously unscathed or not even suspected of being at risk.
This in mind, we contacted James Finucane, a 67-year-old stock strategist who now works as a consultant in West Lafayette, Ind., home of Purdue University ("modest cost of living, a great brew pub and incomparable high-school hoops," he gushes). Among his talents: pool hustling. He was the 1961 National Student Unions pool champ, representing Notre Dame.
....him, we're now at yet another extraordinary low, especially with the unprecedented actions taken by the Fed of late to offer liquidity to investment banks and to commercial banks stuck with mortgage-backed securities of uncertain value. In fact, he foresees an explosive rally, with the Dow rocketing to 18,000 to 20,000 within a year from its current 12,361. The climb, he says, might begin imminently or take a few months of backing and filling before the market takes off.
Finucane argues that financial crises invariably yield spectacular buy points, especially when they reach crescendos. He points to calamities such as the 1970 Penn Central bankruptcy, the 1984 failure of Continental Bank, the 1994 Mexican peso devaluation and the 1998 collapse of the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund. Each time, important lows were made either simultaneously or within a month of the crisis.