After George W. Bush's final address, President-elect Obama asked Bush to request the remaining $350 billion of the Wall Street bailout fund; Bush agreed to do so. Meanwhile, Alcoa shares slid after it was downgraded by Deutsche Bank; Aetna cut its full-year profit outlook; but in counterpoint, reports say Citigroup could rake in as much as $3 billion in a deal for Smith Barney. Experts told CNBC that unemployment could be far worse than we think — but the market may have already bottomed.
Point/Counterpoint: Terrible Outlook vs Bottom Call
Brett Gallagher of Artio Global Management said the economy has deteriorated much more quickly than analysts have cut their expectations. And he's not convinced of the second-half rebound that's built into most forecasts.
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But Fifth Third Asset Management's Mary Jane Matts said earnings-estimate data must be taken with a grain of salt. Matts believes that Q4 '08 will be marked as the economic bottom and the stock-market trough.
Job Picture Pretty... Ugly
DRW Trading Group's Lou Brien said the loss of 1 million jobs in a single month is not inconceivable, as the economy worsens. Ominous development: a 3.3 million-plus surge in the number of part-time workers. The trouble with calling a bottom now? Negative information continues to flow. This week's CPI could show the first decline since 1955 — the Fed is worried that this will encourage a deflationary psychology, and consumer habits will change for the worse.
BlackRock's Doll: Equities Will Boom This Year
Bob Doll, vice chairman and global chief investment officer of equities at BlackRock, is calling for double-digit equities growth for 2009. He named the sector he believes will lead — and offered CNBC his top two stock picks.
Early Signs Point To Another Troublesome Week For the Markets
Ben Lichtenstein of TradersAudio.com said some key trading levels like Dow 8000 remain intact — but there's still downward pressure from last week's reversal when the S&P 500 hit 900. That reversal will continue to weigh down trading this week, and corporate earnings will not help.
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CNBC's Companies in the News:
Alcoa (NYSE: AA)
Citigroup (NYSE: C)
Aetna (NYSE: AET)
Ford Motor (NYSE: F)
General Motors (NYSE: GM)
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