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The bulls are still on the loose in RealMoney Barometer survey.

For the third week in a row, the sentiment has been majority bullish. This week, bulls notched 50%, or 1,020, of the 2,057 votes cast. The bears got 469 votes, or 23%, while netural came in strong at 28%, or 568 votes.

In the sectors, precious metals was seen as most likely to rise, while homebuilders -- as has been common for some time -- was seen as likely to fall.

Other sectors that made strong showings were energy equipment and services, integrated oil and biotech.

Commercial banks, automobiles and airlines were sectors seen as not in for a good week.

In M&A news,

Sallie Mae

(SLM) - Get SLM Corp Report

was acquired by an investor group led by J.C. Flowers in a $25 billion transaction. And

First Marblehead


plunged Monday as investors worried that two big customers will pull their business now that they're poised to take big stakes in rival Sallie Mae.

Minority stakeholders in the buyout include

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report


TheStreet Recommends

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

-- two big customers of First Marblehead.


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

said Monday that it earned $5 billion, or $1.01 a share, in the latest quarter, down from $5.56 billion and $1.11 a share a year earlier, but adjusted earnings of $1.18 were 9 cents better than estimates.

Crude oil futures were trading slightly lower, with the May contract for light, sweet crude on the Nymex recently trading down 3 cents a barrel to $63.60.

The stock market was up nicely on Monday, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

recently trading at 12,704.85, higher by 93 points. The

Nasdaq Composite

was at 2513.18, up 21 points, and the

S&P 500

was at 1466, up 13 points.

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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