Pat Fitzgibbons, Markets Editor, chatted on AOL MarketTalk Monday Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

SageMoola:

Good afternoon and welcome to MarketTalk, Pat!

PFitzgibbo:

Hi everyone. Market moving higher today, as a lot of people feel the election is over.

Question:

Have higher interest rates contributed to the demise of many online companies?

PFitzgibbo:

No, I think the real demise of the online companies has been the lack of a decent business plan, miscast assumptions about how much it costs to keep these businesses running and too many people thinking that a good idea always equals a good business.

Question:

What does the price earnings ratio really tell you about a stock?

PFitzgibbo:

A high P/E ratio tells you that the stock is a more speculative buy. But, while a low P/E may be sign of a more stable stock performance. It doesn't, in and of itself, say that the company's business is better.

Question:

Pat: Should we KILL ALL THE ANALYSTS ( accd to Shakespeare) together with the LAWYERS ? Is the new SEC regulation on disclosure for talking analysts be effectve? (what about 'em analysts using "dummies" for investing ?)

PFitzgibbo:

There are a few that should be strung up, for sure. But, the real problem with analysts is that too few investors understand howe many of these people act at the whim of the firm's investment banking group.

PFitzgibbo:

Very rarely will one of the big firms roll out a rating on a stock that they have not done or don't hope to do banking business with.

PFitzgibbo:

Knowing that, how can you expect the analysts to give a true read of the company and their business prospects?

Question:

dude..why was SLR downgraded ?

PFitzgibbo:

Solectron was downgraded this morning by UBS Warburg to a hold from a buy but I didn't see the note to be more specific than that. It has been in a tough sector and the stock's chart has been very ugly since October.

Question:

What do you think of specialty retail stocks such as ANF, GPS, AEOS? Do you think there will be a crash of the retail sector like there was last Christmas season?

PFitzgibbo:

Specialty retailers depend very heavily on the Christmas season, that's for sure.

PFitzgibbo:

I think that consumer confidence is ebbing a bit and that is never good for these sorts of stocks I went and did some Xmas shopping last week on a Monday and there was no one in the Rockaway Mall in NJ. That's not a good sign.

Question:

Do you see the market turning around anytime soon?

PFitzgibbo:

Well, the market has had a pretty good tone today as the election looks like it is almost over.

PFitzgibbo:

If Bush wins, as it appears as he will, it will likely be good for the overall market.

Question:

The Street.Com

trashed SCLN (SCICLONE PHARMACEUTICALS) in recent articles. Does Cramer's hedge fund have, or had, a short position in it ? Ethical ?

PFitzgibbo:

I don't recollect that particular article to be honest. But, let me make this clear, the editors and the reporters of

TheStreet.com

don't have contact with Jim Cramer.

PFitzgibbo:

He is a contributing columnist, but he has nothing -- let's say it again, NOTHING to do with the stories we write and the work we do in the newsroom.

Question:

Once the election is over do you think the market will get better than it is now?

PFitzgibbo:

I think it definitely has a chance to end the year higher than it is right now.

Question:

Where do you think the DOW, NAZ, S&P are going from here? would you buy into this market now?

PFitzgibbo:

I think there are definitely some sectors, stocks that have been beaten up unfairly in the last 6 months or so. There are definitely some bargains to be had out there.

PFitzgibbo:

But, in a market as wacky as this has been, it really requires investors to do more work and read up on their stocks a lot more. If forced to bet on the major indices, I'd say they'll all three end up higher than they are right now.

Question:

Do you think as

Jeffrey Immelt

takes power at GE he will immediately melt down GE eps?

PFitzgibbo:

I don't think there's any evidence that he will do that.

Jack Welch's

departure may be a short-term hit for GE stock, but I don't think anyone would go to a company like GE and go out of their way to warm EPS.

SageMoola:

Thank you very much for joining us today, Pat!

PFitzgibbo:

Thanks for all the good questions and comments. See you soon on

TheStreet.com.

OnlineHost: We have been speaking with Pat Fitzgibbons, markets editor, TheStreet.com. Visit Keyword: TheStreet.