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Participants in RealMoney Barometer survey are finding no reason to temper their bullishness, as bullish sentiment won out for the 17th straight week.

The bulls captured 781, or 54%, of the 1,442 votes cast. The bears had 272 votes, or 19%. Neutral tallied 389 votes, or 27%, a conistently high showing.

In the sectors, energy equipment and services was seen as most likely to rise this week. Homebuilding was picked as most likely to fall.

The second place bullish sector was integrated oil. The second-most bearish sector was automobiles.

The stock market was mixed on Monday. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was trading at 12,674, up about 21 points; the

Nasdaq Composite

was up 1.5 points to 2474, and the

S&P 500

was trading at 1448, up just under a half-point

M&A activity was at the forefront Monday.

Several merger deals were making headlines, including a plan by

State Street

(STT) - Get State Street Corporation Report

to acquire

Investors Financial

( IFIN) for roughly $4.5 billion.

TheStreet Recommends

Another agreement will see

Triad Hospitals

(TRI) - Get Thomson Reuters Corporation Report

taken private by affiliates of CCMP Capital Advisors and GS Capital Partners in a $4.7 billion acquisition.


Simon Property

(SPG) - Get Simon Property Group, Inc. Report

and Farallon Capital have bid $24 a share for


( MLS), exceeding by $3 a share the price of a deal with

Brookfield Asset Management

(BAM) - Get Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Class A Report


Natural gas futures soared on Monday, up 6% before falling back, as a brutal cold snap covered much of the U.S. Natural gas for March delivery was last up 21 cents to $7.69 per British thermal unit, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The high for the day was $8.03.

Light, sweet crude oil was recently trading down 5 cents a barrel from Friday, to $58.97, after hitting a high of $59.95 earlier in the session.

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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