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Bulls Won't Stop Believing

<I>TheStreet's</I> Bull vs. Bear poll finds investors believe stocks will rise for the fifth straight week.



) -- Friday's big finish has the bulls still believing.

After U.S. stocks rallied around 2% on Friday on promising durable goods data, survey-takers with a bullish bent in

The Street's

latest Bull vs. Bear poll have the edge over their bearish brethren.

As of 5 a.m. EDT Monday, the poll finds survey-takers who are bullish on stocks tallying 405 votes, or 50.1%, of the 809 total votes cast in the poll. Bears came in with 292 votes, or 36.1%, while those neutral on stocks this week were at 112 votes, or 13.8%.

Poll participants expect the precious metals and commercial banks sectors to lead the stock market higher this week.

Gold prices

on Friday traded above $1,300 an ounce intraday on a weak dollar and momentum buying. Gold settled Friday at $1,298.10, up $1.80.

The poll finds survey-takers believe banks and homebuilding will be the sectors that fall the most this week.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 2.4% last week, the

S&P 500

gained 2.1% and the

TheStreet Recommends


finished the week 2.8% higher, marking the stock market's fourth-straight week of gains.

Premarket futures were suggesting U.S. stocks would open slightly higher Monday.

Asian stocks finished with gains, while European shares at 5 a.m. Monday were rising.

In a light week for earnings reports --

Jabil Circuit

(JBL) - Get Jabil Inc. Report





Family Dollar


are the highlights -- earnings guidance as the third quarter draws to a close and economic data are likely to be at the forefront of investors' minds.

Key data this week

include the weekly jobless claims report and gross domestic product out on Thursday and the Institute for Supply Management index on Friday.

In corporate news Monday,


(UL) - Get Unilever Plc Report

agreed to acquire beauty products maker Alberto Culver (ACV) - Get AllianzGI Diversified Income & Convertible Fund Report

for $3.7 billion.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

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

MGM Resorts

(MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report

is the most likely casino stock to file for bankruptcy over the next two years, according to



Nearly 45% believe the Las Vegas-based casino operator is still in trouble, compared with just 25% who say

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Boyd Gaming Corporation Report

is the most probable casualty of the sector, followed by

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Penn National Gaming, Inc. Report

with 21% of the votes.

It's worth noting that back in February,


ran a poll asking if MGM was in any threat of bankruptcy. At the time, investors gave a resounding "no." But apparently over the past six months something has changed. While chatter surrounding a potential MGM bankruptcy has surely waned, it's clearly not out of investors' minds.

Investors have determined that one will most likely be MGM. With a Z-Score of -0.13, it ranks as the riskiest of the casino stocks and falls way below the "danger zone." (The Altman Z-Score, a formula developed by New York University professor Edward Altman in 1968, measures several aspects of a company's financial health to forecast the probability of it going bankrupt. Since its inception, the formula has been 72% accurate in predicting corporate bankruptcies two years prior to the filing.)

One of the biggest drivers of this despairingly low Z-Score is the $8.5 billion CityCenter development. As of August, the equity value of the complex has fallen to $2.65 billion from $4.88 billion in October 2009. But equity value doesn't take into account the value of the buildings, which MGM has not disclosed.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Casino bankruptcy poll

Written by Joseph Woelfel and Ty Wenger in New York