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The professional Wall Street spin machine has kicked into overdrive in the past two weeks. A slew of strategists have stridden into the teeth of Hurricane October with forecasts saying stocks in the final three months of this year will clock in with a juicy 8% gain -- equal to the average fourth-quarter gain over the past decade.
As you might expect, there is plenty of bearish dissent, and the doomsayers certainly appear to have the upper hand of late. But more remarkable, perhaps, is a growing minority of forecasters who are looking for much, much better results.Louis Navellier, the fund manager and newsletter publisher, is typical of the mega-bulls, advising private clients over the past weekend that their "best buying opportunity in six months" was last Friday. "If you have any cash, invest it right now," he wrote. "The next few weeks will be phenomenal." More objectively, the quantitative team at Thomson Financial put out a note on Monday stating that their Market Model Risk Premium -- which gauges the extent to which investors are so worried about the future that they are overpaying for the safety of government bonds -- has risen to a record level that tied a mark set in September 2002. That was, as the Thomson research team pointed out, an "excellent buying opportunity."