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Charles Schwab: Housing Recovery To Boost Economy

Q: What about the "fiscal cliff," the elephant in the room?

A: Clearly, the market is at the mercy of the negotiations. No question.

So, until the fiscal cliff is resolved, you're probably going to see some decent swings related to that, but I think the path of least resistance for the market remains up. You could get another meaningful push higher as more investors move back in, once some of this uncertainty has passed.

Let's assume it's not a total "can-kick," because that would mean that we're going to be talking about this and figuring out time frames and deadlines well into 2013, which I think would be a big problem. So, let's assume we get some sort of a definitive deal so that we get some resolution, whether it's a grand bargain â¿¿ which is admittedly unlikely â¿¿ or a partial "can-kick," via some actual guidelines as to what's going to happen. Then we can get back to the business of analyzing fundamentals.

Q: What is your favorite sector for next year?

A: Technology. We believe that we are still at the fairly early stages of digital technology and the smartphone revolution. In a growth-starved world, the need to continue to invest in productivity isn't going away.

Q: In the past you've said that the Federal Reserve may have done too much to boost the economy. What are your thoughts currently?

A: You certainly can't argue about their transparency. It's a question of whether we'll look back five years from now, or whatever it is, and say it was the right strategy. That chapter is yet to be written. Clarity is not a problem, the Fed is being very open with what its intentions are. And at this point there is no reason to think it is going to have to backtrack. But, it's got risks down the road.

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