John J. Edwards III chatted on AOL MarketTalk on March 22. AOL's MarketTalk is hosted by Sage Online (Keyword: Live).

Sage Lion:

Live from

TheStreet.com

, Sage is proud to introduce Markets Editor, Mr. John Edwards!

J Edwards:

Hello. Great to be back!

Question:

John, some think that the rise in the price of oil could mean a return to inflation, do you agree?

J Edwards:

It's hard to see the rise in oil prices by itself being a trigger of significant inflation. It seems like despite the rapid growth in the economy, inflation has been pretty much under control in most other areas in the economy. It also remains to be seen whether the oil production cut backs that some of the OPEC countries agreed to will actually remain in place over the long term.

Question:

Please give me your opinion on Comcast and Dell.

J Edwards:

I can't really give opinions on individual stocks.

Question:

Many seem to think that Asia and Latin America have bottomed. Do you agree or do you see additional weakness in the future?

J Edwards:

It's hard to say. There are definitely positive signs in both regions. But at the same time, the situation, especially in Brazil, is somewhat precarious and the positive signs we're seeing could turn around at any time. Overall, I think that investors looking at areas like Asia and Latin America need to do extensive research before making any major investment decisions there.

Question:

The 30-year Treasury bond is hovering in the 5.5% area. Are we likely to see 5% or 6% first in the future?

J Edwards:

I'd have to say at this point, 6% seems somewhat more likely, but it doesn't seem particularly likely. It does seem that the bond market has found a range that it's pretty comfortable with here, and I think it would take some significant change in the economic backdrop to cause a strong move in bond yields in one direction or the other.

Question:

What is your opinion on the computer sector as a whole?

J Edwards:

What we're seeing from industry analysts is some concern about the prospects for revenue growth in the PC industry, which makes me think that investors would do well to exercise some caution in approaching those stocks in the near term.

Question:

How high do you think AOL will go up?

J Edwards:

Again, I can't really offer targets. I don't form particular opinions on the direction of individual stocks.

Question:

To make any money on a stock like AOL how much would you invest?

J Edwards:

Basically, if a stock moves up, you can make some money on it owning very little. The reward you'll gain is relative to the size of the investment that you put into it. It depends on what "any money" means to you.

Question:

Do investors, in general, understand the risks of the stock market, or are they taking calculated gambles with monies they can't afford to loose?

J Edwards:

It definitely seems, unfortunately, that too many investors in the market now do not understand the amount of risk there can be in the stock market in general, and in smaller high growth, high volatility stocks in particular. It's important for investors to keep in mind that when they are investing in particularly risky issues, they should be sure to be using money that they could afford to lose if it came to that.

Question:

What equity sectors can investors look to for some safety and low volatility during times like this?

J Edwards:

One area that seems pretty stable is the pharmaceutical stocks, those are often a haven for investors seeking some insulation from rapid shifts in the economy.

Question:

Your thoughts on today's announced purchase of MediaOne (UMG) by Comcast (CMCSA)?

J Edwards:

For one thing, it's interesting that a merger of this size, valued at some $60 billion, is not really having a broad effect on the market today. I think that says something about the way investors have almost become accustomed to very large mergers as consolidation in a variety of industries have become commonplace. As for this merger in particular, it's another indication that in the media and communications industry companies are increasingly concerned that they'll have difficulty competing in the new, broadband landscape without having enormous scale.

Question:

What are your thoughts on the online auction companies?

J Edwards:

The auction companies are definitely in a somewhat untested industry. It's important for investors to bear that in mind when assessing their results. We've seen very rapid growth in many of the online auction companies, but because there's such a brief history behind them, it's very hard to be certain that their growth will continue at such a rapid pace.

Sage Lion:

Thank you for joining us today Mr. Edwards! Any parting shots?

J Edwards:

I'd advise investors to keep their wits about them and take advantage of good resources like

TheStreet.com

.