Publish date:

Pat Fitzgibbons on AOL's MarketTalk, Oct. 10, 2000

Patrick M. Fitzgibbons chatted on AOL MarketTalk Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. AOL's MarketTalk is produced by Sage Online (Keyword: Markettalk).

Comment:

Live from New York, NY, please welcome

Pat Fitzgibbons

, senior markets editor,

TheStreet.com.

. Pat can answer questions about the markets and investing. Pat does NOT offer individual stock commentaries or recommendations. Visit Keyword: TheStreet.

PFitzgibbo:

Good afternoon everybody. Pretty lousy feel to the market today, but let's see if we can make some sense of it all.

Question:

Are there any sectors left that have any room for growth? Especially with the interest rates so high?

PFitzgibbo:

Oh sure. But, what you really have to be careful about here is finding the most beat-up sectors and identifying the real values within those sectors.

PFitzgibbo:

For example, does anyone really think some of these big-tech names should be so depressed? I'm not sure I buy it!

Question:

Do you feel that the market is close to a point of capitulation and if so will the traditional fourth-quarter rally occur this year?

PFitzgibbo:

Identifying the bottom of this market is a very dangerous thing. That said, though, I think that a lot of the problems that might depress earnings this quarter (euro, oil, etc.) are unique and could improve during the fourth quarter.

Question:

Do you think the market has been running on smoke and mirrors lately, like DELL and INTC getting hammered, it's not like they're going bankrupt?

PFitzgibbo:

I'm not sure I get the "smoke-and-mirrors" analogy. I still think that a lot of these beaten-down companies have strong business models and will improve when all of this slop starts to clear out.

Question:

Do you feel that electric utility stocks have been getting a boost from their Internet-related and technology investments?

PFitzgibbo:

Certainly, the effects of the Internet have been felt in many other subsidiary business and sectors.

PFitzgibbo:

I think there will also be some more spread as the Internet expands its reach and, inevitably changes going forward.

Question:

My portfolio is about 70% bonds and 30% stocks and mutual funds. I am 69 years old. Recently several of my individual bonds have come due. Should I put them back in bonds or go into more stocks or funds?

PFitzgibbo:

That sounds like a lot of bonds, but in this market, with the level of uncertainty that's out there, you might want to reinvest that money right back into bonds.

TheStreet Recommends

PFitzgibbo:

I'm not an investment adviser, and you certainly want to make your own decisions, but bonds are certainly a safer haven right now.

Question:

Why do you think the market took such a negative veiw of the AOL/Time Warner merger?

PFitzgibbo:

I think that one of the concerns about that merger -- and indeed with many big mergers -- is that investors are unclear what each one of the businesses actually brings to the other.

PFitzgibbo:

I think people thought it was an awfully big stretch for AOL. However, I think that the merger will be a good thing for both companies down the road and will serve as a positive for the shareholders.

Question:

Did you anticipate how badly the higher interest rates would cut into future corporate profits?

PFitzgibbo:

I don't know that anyone really saw this quarter's rash of earnings warnings coming (which may explain the lousy tone of the market). However, interest rates are always a concern for investors and always need to be considered in making stock picks.

Question:

How do you see the Nasdaq for the remainder of the year?

PFitzgibbo:

The Nasdaq is feeling pretty crummy right now. However, I think the fourth quarter will be a better quarter once the election gets over with and people can focus more on the market's strong fundamentals.

Question:

50K to invest today -- 5-10 years -- where?

PFitzgibbo:

Well, I can't give you individual stock picks, but I think there are a few questions you need to ask yourself with this investment.

PFitzgibbo:

Are you looking for high-growth potential (high risk) or are you looking for more stability (low risk)? I'd recommend taking a look at

TheStreet.com

and seeing some of our Investing Basics that can handle a lot of these kinds of questions.

Comment:

Thank you for joining us today Pat! We have been speaking with Pat Fitzgibbons, senior markets editor,

TheStreet.com

. Visit Keyword: TheStreet.

SageCrystl:

We appreciate your insights today Pat.

PFitzgibbo:

Thanks very much for the time today and I'll see you on

TheStreet.com

!