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Bears Ride the Slide

Bears lead our latest sentiment survey as stocks across the globe continue in free fall.



) -- The stock market took a beating Friday with major U.S. indices down 3% or more as the euro fell to a four-year low on debt fears in Hungary and the U.S. payroll numbers were underwhelming.

It appears more downside is expected this week as bears handily lead the bulls in our latest sentiment survey.

As of 5 a.m. EDT Monday, poll participants who were bearish tallied 53%, or 455 of the 858 votes cast in the's RealMoney Barometer Poll. Bulls scored 295 votes, or 34.4% of the total, while survey-takers who were neutral racked up 108 votes, or 12.6% of the total.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 3.2% on Friday to finish at 9,932, the

S&P 500

fell 3.4% and


finished 3.6% lower after the May jobs report said 431,000 U.S. jobs were added last month but most of it came from Census hiring. The poor response to the jobless numbers makes Thursday's release of initial jobless claims more crucial.

May retail sales and June consumer sentiment figures on Friday also will be on investors' radar this week.

Premarket futures suggest stocks in the U.S. will decline when Wall Street opens Monday after stocks across the globe plunged because of fears that Europe's debt crisis is spreading to Hungary. Hungarian officials said last week the nation was at risk of a Greek-style fiscal crisis.

European markets were trading lower Monday. The FTSE in London fell 1.3% and the DAX in Frankfurt was down almost 1%.

Asian stocks plunged, with the Nikkei stock average in Tokyo ending 3.8% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong finishing 2% to the downside.

Precious metals, by a wide margin, was seen by poll participants as the sector most likely to rise this week. Gold prices settled higher Friday as investors bought gold after the disappointing jobs number. Gold for August delivery Monday was trading at $1,216.50 an ounce, down $1.20. Survey-takers viewed commercial banks as the sector most likely to decline.

In corporate news Monday,



, the biotherapeutics company, has reached an agreement to be acquired by


, a Spanish health care company, for cash and stock of $3.4 billion.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

Here's a wrap-up of our other polls:

The BP oil spill hit an absurd high note in the past week when a British bookmaker began taking bets on whether


(BP) - Get Report

CEO Tony Hayward would keep his job,


on which endangered Gulf of Mexico species would go extinct first as a result of the environmental impact of the BP oil spill.

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Indeed, it has been a week during which the rhetorical attacks on BP CEO Tony Hayward have reached their apex, with newspapers dubbing Hayward the "most hated man in America" and too many reports to count that Hayward would be out of a job by the time BP had finally extricated itself from the oil spill crisis. Yet most notable for investors the past week was also the apex of the most fundamental question of all: Can BP survive as a company?

>>Oil Drilling Stocks: BP Oil Spill Impact

Speculation that BP has become a takeover target, or at least would be forced to sell off prized assets like its stake in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, have been rampant ever since the top kill failure. So it was natural to ask readers of


this week: Can BP Survive? The result: a mixed report.

Approximately 38% of survey-takers described BP's existential crisis as just the latest panic, and said that it was in fact a good reason to buy BP shares. Not far behind, with 32% of the votes, were survey respondents who think that BP shares have not reached a floor value yet. Another 12% of survey takers think BP will survive, but agreed that they would "put a containment dome over the stock."

That's 44% of the survey audience who don't want any part of BP shares, and can you blame them? BP shares may be the only thing currently more stained than Gulf of Mexico pelicans.

Oil Spill in Pictures

Oil Spill in Pictures

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our "BP survival" poll

Despite all the optimism over

Sirius XM's

(SIRI) - Get Report

potential for international growth, a greater portion of readers who took


poll on the topic of the company's global opportunities seem to agree that it still needs more time to be ready for an international expansion.

But it was a close race.

At the end of last week, we asked readers of


when -- and if -- they think Sirius XM should expand internationally. A full 27.6% of respondents said that Sirius XM should expand in two years, followed closely by some 25.6% who think that it could do it in one year. Trailing closely behind those voting blocks were those who believe that Sirius XM is ready -- right now -- to engage in an international expansion; 23.2% of the survey takers felt this way.

Put another way: More than 76% of the investors who responded to our survey believe that Sirius XM should expand internationally within the next two years. This, of course, is well in keeping with the traditionally bullish sentiment of the readers of


, regarding Sirius XM.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Sirius XM international expansion poll

Toys 'R' Us

initial public offering is a buy, according to



The toy retailer announced last week that it plans to go public in a deal that could be worth as much as $800 million. The news left nearly 54% of the respondents to our survey eager to pick up Toys 'R' Us shares, while 46% said they are not interested in the stock.

Toys 'R' Us said it will use some of the proceeds from the IPO to repay some of its debt, which according to an Securities and Exchange filing totals $5.2 billion. Toys 'R' Us did not reveal how many shares it will sell. It will trade on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker "TOYS."

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Toys 'R' Us IPO poll

--Written by Joseph Woelfel and Ty Wenger in New York.