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The bulls barreled to another victory in the RealMoney Barometer survey, capturing the poll for the ninth straight week.

The bulls got 874, or 54%, of the 1,626 votes cast. The bears could muster only 307 votes, or 19%; neutral came in with 438 votes, or 27%.

In the sectors, investment bankers and brokers was chosen as most likely to rise this week. It's likely the announced merger last week of

Bank of New York


Mellon Financial

played a part in that, not to mention solid profits this year at many banks.

Other sectors seeing a lot of bullish sentiment were integrated oil, and energy equpiment and services.

Homebuilding was tapped as the sector most likely to fall this week, although one wonders how long that will last. Automoblies was the second most bearish sector in the survey.

Stocks of the homebuilders have rebounded lately, as Tony Crescenzi over on


sees a

record number of residential real estate loans and a surge in mortgage applications.

On Monday, stocks were trading higher. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 17 points to 12,325. The

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Nasdaq Composite

was higher by 8.5 points, to 2446, and the

S&P 500

was up 2.8 points to 1413.

Helping spur the modest upsurge was a 1.3% advance in the Amex Airlines index. Boosting the group were a 5% gain in


and a 3.8% rally in



Crude oil was trading slightly lower, down 7 cents to $61.96 a barrel.


Federal Reserve

meets Tuesday, and investors will be anxiously awaiting word on the future direction of interest rates. For now, the Fed is expected to leave its target fed funds rate unchanged at 5.25%.

Assuming policymakers don't take any action, it would be the fourth straight meeting at which rates have been left alone.

Last week, the Dow and S&P each gained 0.9%. The Nasdaq was up 1% on the week.

Below are the complete poll results.

David Morrow is editor-in-chief of In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He appreciates your feedback;

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