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Benjamin Securities President: Market May Recover In 1st Half '08

Thursday, January 24, 2008

TALK BACK:Benjamin Securities President: Market May Recover In 1st Half '08

The comment below responds to the question we posed on Dow Jones NewsPlus: What are you telling your clients in this market? Please share your own views. Email us at TalkBackAmericas@dowjones.com.

Here's what Leo J. Benjamin, president of Benjamin Securities Inc., writes:

Looking ahead to 2008, with the U.S. dollar reaching unprecedented low exchange values (i.e., 1 Eurodollar converts into US$1.48), the popular saying is "the U.S. is on sale."

For example, I believe it will only be a matter of time for European investors to realize that they can invest 1 Eurodollar and immediately get US$1.48 worth of stock in AT&T Inc. (T). Money is expected to flow into the U.S. in the form of mergers, acquisitions, tourist trade, consumer goods, and investments in U.S. securities from foreign corporations and overseas individuals.

On the other side of the coin, many U.S. companies will seek to sell their products and services at discounted foreign currency prices overseas. This suggests that investment opportunities are sure to arise by investing in stocks of U.S. corporations that have a strong "footprint" in Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere. We believe this may be accomplished by investing in U.S. securities that have strong overseas operations. Invest for economic growth overseas in these companies:

* Altria Group Inc. (MO)

* American International Group Inc. (AIG)

* American Express Co. (AXP)

* Boeing Co. (BA)

* Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

* Coca-Cola Co. (KO)

* Deere & Co. (DE)

* EMC Corp. (EMC)

* General Electric Co. (GE)

* Hologic Inc. (HOLX)

* International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

* Intel Corp. (INTC)

* McDonald's Corp. (MCD)

* Oracle Corp. (ORCL)

* Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)

* Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

* Superior Energy Services Inc. (SPN)

* Transocean Inc. (RIG)

* United Technologies Corp. (UTX)

* Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

* Vodafone Group PLC (VOD)

This year, January may be recorded as the worst-performing January since 1982. As you know, corporations must report and fully disclose all the expenses and liabilities in their audited annual reports, especially if their fiscal year ends Dec. 31, 2007. The stock market went down in anticipation of bad news - especially the stocks of banks that were involved in collateralized mortgage obligation bonds.

After Dec. 31, 2007, with a clean slate, the first quarter of 2008 should compare very favorably with the last quarter of last year. For this reason, I am optimistic about a stock market recovery during the first half of this year.

(TALK BACK comments may well be submitted by readers who have a financial interest in the securities that are being discussed.)

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 10:40 AM  

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