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Bulls and Bears: Pay No Attention to the Stock Market Slump

Reported by Judy - May 21, 2006

Just two weeks ago, the sharp minds on Fox News' "Bulls and Bears" were predicting the Dow would pass 12,000 any day now. Instead, the Dow has taken a major tumble -- falling 4.4 percent in the last week and a half. So how would Brenda Buttner and the news-is-always-good-for-Bush network deal with this sell-off?

By talking about the new government in Iraq, of course. Buttner skipped the stock market status and instead quizzed her panel of stock pickers on what the new government in Iraq will mean for the U.S. economy. But her usually compliant guests were not buying.

"This is great news for Iraq," agreed Gary B. Smith of Exemplar Capital. "It is great news for us, but this is so far in the rear view mirror of the average person dealing in the stock market. If you went out and asked 9 out of 10 money managers, hedge fund managers, even the average person in the stock market investing on their own, what is the government in Iraq, they would go what, huh, didn’t we do that a couple months ago. This is going to have zero effect, I’m sad to say, on the market. I think Bush at this point and the market have bigger things to worry about."

Which would have been a good point for Buttner to ask, well what is the market worried about? But then somebody might have brought up the rise in unemployment claims, the second monthly dip in a row in leading economic indicators, inflation fears, and so on. That was not the territory Buttner wanted to explore.

So Buttner kept the group focused on Iraq. "In the war on terror though this is a huge win," she insisted.

Buttner got little support except from Mike Norman, of Biz Radio, who called the spending in the war on Iraq an important stimulus for the economy. Others like Pat Dorsey dismissed that, saying the spending was all put on the nation's credit card, meaning it will costing the nation interest on the national debt, hardly an ecoomic stimulus.

If anyone was watching this show to find out what was driving the market in the last few days, they were as ignorant after watching it as they were when it started. But you can say that about just about any Fox News show. Providing information is rarely the goal.

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