Eric Gillin and Chris Edmonds chatted on Yahoo!, Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. EDT. For an audio transcript of the event click here.

Eric Gillin:

It's Thursday -- 5 p.m. on the East Coast, 2 p.m. on the West, time once again for

TheStreet.com

Martini Chat.

Good afternoon, I'm your host Eric Gillin coming to you live from the world headquarters of

TheStreet.com

on Wall Street. Joining me from

TheStreet.com's

Atlanta bureau

TheStreet.com

Contributing Editor and

RealMoney

columnist Chris Edmonds.

Chris, other than the energy complex, what a week on Wall Street. Good news on the war front seems to trump any questions about the economy. Does the resilience surprise you?

Chris Edmonds:

In some ways it does, but psychology is a powerful weapon and good psychology, especially in the form of military might, is a power aphrodisiac for the market.

The economic underpinnings remain questionable and, so, I expect to see some chop along the way, but the momentum is clearly on the bullish side.

Glad you mentioned energy, by the way. This OPEC meeting was an absolute disaster. I'm not ready to declare OPEC dead quite yet, but the power Russia and Norway are holding over the cartel sure make you question the impact OPEC can have on prices going forward.

Someone said this morning that it was quite possible that Russian President Putin and President Bush were likely setting oil prices over a bowl of Texas chili in Crawford this morning. How's that for imagery.

Eric Gillin:

Interesting analysis and we'll have more on the markets in our weekly Roundtable later in the show.

We have another packed show this week. We'll tackle everything going on in the air and on the ground at least around airports -- with Holly Hegeman,

TheStreet.com's

own airline analyst and publisher of

PlaneBusiness.com.

We'll look at the financial health of the airlines and explore the ramifications of Monday's crash on American Airlines as well as the latest developments on the airport security front in Congress.

Then we'll delve into the mystery of why all of you knock that little white ball around the yard with sticks as we look back on the PGA Tour with two seasoned golf journalists -- Bryan Katrek of PGA Tour Radio and John Steinbreder of Golfweek.

Finally, we wrap up with our Markets Roundtable with a special Thanksgiving twist -- a look at stocks to be thankful for and a look at a turkey or two along the way. All that, the Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street and the latest news headlines.

But first, a toast.

Eric Gillin:

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer railed against the Red Cross this week, demanding that the organization distribute every cent of the $543 million received in its Liberty Fund to the loved ones of victims and the victims of September 11.

This was in response to the Red Cross saying that part of the funds would go to those affected by future attacks. Spitzer cried foul and said that the Red Cross misled people who donated money thinking it'd go solely to those impacted by September 11.

Essentially, Spitzer wanted more accountability for what happens to the $1.4 billion in donations given to all charities.

While such a demand is commendable, I'm not raising a glass to Spitzer. He was doing his job. He gets paid to watchdog. For the same reason, I'm not raising a glass to the Red Cross or to any of the other charities. They're also doing their jobs, with some, clearly, performing better than others.

Instead, I toast the charitable.

It's not their jobs to be charitable. In fact, some of those who gave to the Liberty Fund don't even have jobs! Even though times are tough, people have opened their wallets and purses.

Recession be damned, America has kicked open the floodgates. Wrap your brain around this:

On September 10, the Red Cross received $1,024 in donations via its web site. The next day, while chaos reigned in New York, another $1,013,235 came in. The Liberty Fund raised $543 million since the attack -- an average donation of $100 every second.

Before Thanksgiving, half of the $93 million raised by the Twin Towers fund will go to the families of the 406 uniformed personnel killed in the attack. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says that the average check will be $114,000.

The September 11 Fund's star-studded telethon, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder added $150 million, upping the money raised to $337 million. $50 million has already been given out.

It's happening everywhere. In Chamblee, Georgia, students of Dunwoody High held a bowl-a-thon at the AMF Bowling Lanes on Savoy Drive. This is in addition to the ribbons sold at the homecoming dance and the $1-a-ticket girls' football game held last week. In total, the high school raised $3,100.

Recent polls show that 73% of the adults in this nation say they've donated something in the past two months, either it be money, blood or their time and services.

All across this country -- from towns, to cities, to states -- the spirit of giving is strong.

And yet, amid this wellspring of generosity, rankled a controversy. The Red Cross wanted to withhold $300 million of the Liberty Fund for future victims. Critics howled. But don't get mad at the Red Cross. It listened to the critics and released a statement yesterday saying that all of the money in the fund will go to those affected by September 11.

My heart goes out to the Red Cross, stung by complaints and bad press. The organization must have been overwhelmed by America's generosity. After years of begging people to donate blood, The Red Cross suddenly had lines around the block. The organization went from $1,000 a day in donations to $1 million.

Just nine weeks after the attacks, it might have struggled to figure out who precisely needed the money. Accustomed to doing so much with not enough, the Red Cross was trying to set some funds aside for the bumpy road ahead, perhaps thinking that it would never see a half-billion dollars raised ever again.

Sure, The Red Cross could have handled the situation better. But the organization did the best it could.

With all the problems in the world, I'm thankful for this one. What a wonderful quandary -- The Red Cross had too much. So I raise a glass to everyone out there that created that problem, that contributed even a little of their time or money, to help.

A toast to generosity. A toast to the spirit of giving and hopes it will continue, even if there's no tragedy to react to.

Eric Gillin:

So, Chris, what are your thoughts on the New York City charity issue.

Chris Edmonds:

Two very distinct thoughts: First, the response of our citizens and our communities to this tragedy has been remarkable. Those who have argued the sense of community has diminished in America have certainly been proven wrong.

Our communities may no longer be defined by geography, but the sense of purpose and belonging of the American citizenry and its community is now unquestioned.

As for the charities, let's face it, they are businesses. They have staff and executives and overhead and bureaucracy. They could have done better and should do better. People gave for a very specific purpose. It's important that money be directed to those it was intended for.

Eric Gillin:

Interesting observations. And, Chris, our first guest has some prescient observations of her own, specifically related to the airline industry.

Chris Edmonds:

Eric, indeed she does. Our first guest is Holly Hegeman, a contributor to

TheStreet.com

and

RealMoney.com

and publisher of by far the best, most comprehensive airline industry publication around,

PlaneBusiness.

Holly joins us from the headquarters of Plane Business in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Holly, thanks for being with us.

Holly Hegeman:

Chris and Eric, nice to be with you.

Chris Edmonds:

Let's start with the breaking news, the fact there may be an airline security plan finally coming from Congress. What can you tell us about the key provisions of a plan that comes from the Hill? Looks like the real hang-up is over who will actually control the personnel securing the nation's commercial airports.

Holly Hegeman:

Obviously the hold up for the past two months has broken down over philosophical arguments: whether or not to be Fed employees.But then again, what's new? Meanwhile, it's been over two months and we have no bill. There's been a compromise bill submitted.

There's been one signed, or at least put together. It's one of those in between ones. The first year, the screeners will be Federalized, and after that, it gets murky. Supposedly there will be a period of time where they will go under a new office to be set up under the department of transportation, then a look-see after some more years.

It's better than nothing. We could have done better, but we need to have something. Trent Locke said that this will give Americans peace of mind when they get on planes across the country, especially as we approachThanksgiving.

Chris Edmonds:

You talk to a lot of pilots, flight attendants, ramp workers, ticket agents in the business. From those conversations, where is security most lacking in the nation's airports?

Holly Hegeman:

Business travelers complain because it varies from day to day. You can't plan ahead. You take a flight from Chicago to Atlanta and get there three hours early and whisk through security in 10-15 minutes. Two days later, they take the same flight and it takes hours.

You've all heard the stories. People go through one line in one airport and are fine, they go through the next and have their tweezers taken away. A lot is for show. Travelers' patience will get short as time goes by. There are no consistent rules and that needs to change.

Eric Gillin:

The crash of flight 587 upset me. I live in New York. I work in New York. While the jury may still be out on the cause, it seems like this should have been prevented. Is it appropriate to blame American Airlines for the crash, no matter what the circumstance? And what does that spell for American's future?

Holly Hegeman:

It's too early to blame American Airlines. Generally, in the past, when we had a crash like this, TWA flight #800 for instance, immediately the thought was that there was an explosion and the FBI was brought in. This week, there was almost a concerted effort to go the other way. I found this a little peculiar.

Like the bird story. Sources said it was a bird strike. That got all over the wires and there was no truth to it at all.

It's too early to step on American Airlines toes. It's totally unprecedented. When I saw the visual of them pulling it out of the water, it's common sense. If the plane had suffered a bird strike or the engine had failed, you're not going to have this almost intact piece of tail pulled out of the water. That was not enough to take the plane down -- a bird!

Eric Gillin:

Not only has fear hurt the airlines, alternative modes of transportation seem to be providing another pinch. Automakers are offering 0% financing, gasoline prices have dropped to two-year lows and Amtrak is offering big savings. All told, Triple A says air travel over the holiday will be off at least 30% while highway travel will soar. What's the long-term impact of alternate transportation on the airlines, especially the short-haul carriers like Southwest?

Holly Hegeman:

It depends on where you live. Having lived in the North East, train travel is almost already a good alternative. In some cases, it's better. But that's not the case in the rest of the United States. In those markets not served by rail travel, it is going to be a matter of distance.

I don't think it's that people don't want to fly. People just don't want to go anywhere. In the same Triple A piece, travel across the board will be down. People would just rather stay home and it's just a continuation of what we've seen after September 11. Look at the retails. The home, the nesting stocks. Martha Stewart is doing gangbusters. Southwest, for example, has not cut back any capacity and is doing well.

Look at Jet Blue. A small airline based in New York. If anyone was going to be hit, should have been them. They have not cut back on any of their flights either. They're doing the same amount they did prior to September 11.

Chris Edmonds:

Help us size up the winners and losers in this new operating environment. How important were the government subsidies to various carriers and who is best poised to remain competitive and, hence, survive in this more difficult operating environment?

Holly Hegeman:

There's no doubt that if you track the industry for the past 2-3 years, you see a trend in place even before September 11. Southwest continues to be a success, and not just with Southwest.

We have it with WestJet, based in Canada. RyanAir in Ireland. Jet Blue is a clone. Frontier is not a clone, but is in some sense. Air Tran. All of these have done very well and the reason is they use a different revenue model. For example, Southwest's philosophy is "We're going to fly you for the least amount of money as possible, whereas Delta and United has always been "We're going to try to make as much money off of you as possible."

Eric Gillin:

A spate of bankruptcies seem almost certain in the new year. What happens if we have fewer carriers? Higher fares and higher profit margins perhaps? What's the outcome if you have fewer players?

Holly Hegeman:

I don't think we're going to have as big a problem with higher fares as people think because of what I call the alternative carriers. The Frontier, Southwest, Jetblue, Airtran, because they're in good shape I don't think we'll suffer that much. I don't think it's how much people will suffer in terms of higher fares. The two biggest carriers at risk are probably American and United.

Chris Edmonds:

I have one questions about the American Airline crash on Monday. What happens if we find that the problem was mechanical? Does that make a difference in the stock?

Holly Hegeman:

If we find out it was an obviously mechanical problem that American Airlines should have caught, that's not going to help their stock. They're at risk anyway. They suffered major crashes prior to September 11. They were roundly chewed out by the NTSB on a report on that Little Rock accident. They are trying to digest the T.W.A acquisition. It definitely is not going to be good for them. How much will it affect the stock long-term with the price today? Probably long term, not that much, honestly. It closed today at $18.75. To be honest, I don't think it will affect them very much.

Chris Edmonds:

It's that T.W.A hoax. Will you be taking a look at that Airline Security bill as we go forward here?

Holly Hegeman:

Sure.

Chris Edmonds:

Holly, thanks for being with us.

Our guest, Holly Hegeman, contributor to

TheStreet.com

and

RealMoney.com

and publisher of

PlaneBusiness.

I'm sure Holly will be back often as the airline saga continues to unfold.

Eric, Holly is one of the smartest minds I know in the airline business. And, K.C. Swanson is one of the smartest minds I know when it comes to finding dumb things to write about.

Eric Gillin:

No question, K.C. is one of the best people I know of with only dumb things to say. K.C. what dumb things have you uncovered on Wall Street this week?

K.C. Swanson:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in 2DoTrade, doubting the company's claim that it is prepared to distribute a disinfectant for anthrax. No wonder the agency is skeptical: Biotechnology seems a bit far a field from 2DoTrade's goal of developing a business-to-business platform for the African continent.

It's even farther removed from the company's original mission: According to a report filed with the SEC, it wanted to start a chain of full-service, white-tablecloth Italian restaurants "based on authentic Italian regional recipes."

Eric Gillin:

Right, they are going to do an Italian restaurant that's a business to business Africa. Are they the same guys who sell webcams over the web?

K.C. Swanson:

I don't know. Any time a company doesn't have any revenue and it says it's still in the development stage and the SEC says it's checking into the identity of the companies managers. We can expect to hear a little bit more out of that.

Eric Gillin:

Maybe Sybil's on the board. Remember her? She's the one with the multiple personalities?

K.C. Swanson:

Hewlett-Packard's affirmation of "enthusiastic support" this week for the merger with Compaq rings a bit hollow, given that H-P's stock has seen double-digit losses since the merger was announced. The board's recent frozen-smile commentary came on news that some of the company's most influential investors, members of the Hewlett and Packard families, oppose the deal and will vote against the merger if given the chance. It's not often that the board of a company and its investors are at loggerheads -- and regarding the board's mood, we're reckoning panic might be more accurate than enthusiasm.

Eric Gillin:

So who's the big moron on that? Is it just a bad deal that makes you want to cut bait and just forget about it?

K.C. Swanson:

Basically, it's just the company saying that there is enthusiasm for a deal and it's pretty unconvincing. We're reckoning that they're panicking at this point.

Eric Gillin:

K.C. also wrote about the apparent early leak of news of the demise of the 30-year treasury bond and the SEC's interest in who's responsible, the NYSE's lax regulations of floor brokers and, what else, Enron. You can find all of her excellent work by going to "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street" at

TheStreet.com.

K.C. Swanson:

Briefly, the long bond scenario is that the Treasury Department accidentally leaked the news early and some traders got wind of the report and made money from it which is pretty embarrassing. The NYSE still is not over-seeing traders closely enough. Finally the Enron problem. The company is saying that it would have to re-state earnings from 1997 to the end of 2001. That's a pretty extensive amount of time.

Eric Gillin:

What's up for next week?

K.C. Swanson:

Enron is back. You almost have to admire the gall of Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, who, in exchange for presiding over the company's brisk slide into mayhem, tried to slip out the door with a $60.6 million pay package.

Eric Gillin:

That and more on "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street", tomorrow and every Friday at

TheStreet.com.

K.C., thanks.

K.C. Swanson:

Take care.

Eric Gillin:

Now, with the latest news including how the markets finished at the closing bell, from the Wall Street headquarters of

TheStreet.com

, our news editor, Yi Ping Ho. Yi Ping, how'd we finish the day and what's ahead?

Yi Ping Ho:

Stocks refrained from making any big moves today, as Wall Street cheered a surprising drop in weekly jobless claims but fretted over concerns about terrorism and poor earnings from a big tech company.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 48.78 points, or 0.5%, to 9872.39, while the Nasdaq was off 2.60 points, or 0.1%, to 1900.59. The S&P 500 was up a point to 1142.25.

The market was rattled early by news of an airport fire in northwestern Texas and a train derailment north of Detroit. On the corporate front, Applied Materials posted disappointing quarterly earnings after Wednesday's close. The stock lost 4%, to close at $39.09. Meanwhile, the oil sector created a drag on most major market indexes. On Wednesday, ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries signaled they are willing to endure a price war by refusing to lower oil production, at least not till non-OPEC producers agree to cut output as well.

But some better-than-expected economic news is helping sentiment. This morning, the labor department said the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims totaled 444,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, down from the number of claims a week earlier. Still, continuing claims data for the week are at their highest levels since Feb. 12, 1983.

On Wednesday, October's retail sales surprised everyone when it rose by 7.1%, reflecting the success of auto financing incentives.

Looking ahead, Friday brings about the consumer price index for October. But with inflation barely a concern, investors will likely pay more attention to the latest industrial production and capacity utilization reports by the Federal Reserve for signs of a turnaround in the factory sector.

And while next week could be quiet, given thanksgiving, the market will still be digesting the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators, released on Tuesday.

Eric Gillin:

Next week we don't have a show, and Yi Ping will be off on a much needed vacation.

And, now, Fore!, Chris, let's hit the links.

Chris Edmonds:

Eric, thanks. Indeed, its time for our weekly lighter fare, a look at Wall Street without a coat and tie and a chance to dive into the lighter subjects that make all of us on Wall Street tick.

This week, a look at a game I love and hate -- golf. If only I could hit the ball like Tiger. If only I was on the 18th green in Houston two weeks ago instead of Mike Wier.

Wake me up. We can all dream and here to discuss the game so many dream about playing well are two veteran golf journalists. Bryan Katrek is host of

PGA Tour Radio

. In addition to broadcasting live play-by-play of PGATour, Senior Tour and Buy-com events, Katrek and his team broadcast daily and weekly in-depth analysis of the tour and its happenings. He joins us from -- and let me get this right, a Golf course?! Atlanta.

Bryan Katrek:

Of all places Chris, how about a Golf course?

Chris Edmonds:

And which club is in your hand?

Bryan Katrek:

Just the shag bag, I'm picking up balls.

Chris Edmonds:

Also with us is John Steinbreder, senior writer for

Golfweek,

covering both the competitive and business sides of the game. John is the author of six books, including two devoted to the game of golf and joins us from his car in Connecticut.

John Steinbreder:

I'd much rather be where Bryan is right now.

Chris Edmonds:

Bryan, let me begin with you. So many people thought this would be a year dominated by Tiger Woods and while he dominated the money list, his performance level was not as dominant as many would have thought. Was Tiger's performance this year disappointing or did he just become a little bit more human?

Bryan Katrek:

He didn't disappoint me. He had five wins, and only one major. He didn't really contend for the Grand-Slam. How is that somehow disappointing? But it is! It's disappointing to the golfing public. It's disappointing to the media. It's probably deep down inside disappointing to Tiger. I don't' think he's ever going to frown at a five win season when he picks up a major. But I don't' think anyone who really knows golf is disappointed.

Chris Edmonds:

There were some great stories this year. Jerry Kelly's run at the Players Championship and that look on his face when Tiger holed out on the second hole, Chris DiMarco's great play and Mike Weir's November performance. John, what are some of your fonder moments of the tour just passed?

John Steinbreder:

David Toms with the PGA is one of my favorites. I got to know him a few years ago at a tournament in Morocco which he entered and won. It made my season from a spectator's standpoint.

Eric Gillin:

Hey guys, Eric Gillin here. Tiger Woods, clearly, is a phenomenon not only in the world of golf, but also in the world outside of sport. Much talk was made about how golf would become more popular with young people and minorities. Years later, Woods is still dominant. So, have we seen golf's demographics change? Are young people and minorities hitting the links? John, let's start with you?

John Steinbreder:

From a spectators standpoint, Tiger Woods has bought the game to a whole new audience of people. Younger people, maybe more ethnically diverse group of people.

From a playing standpoint -- First T is doing well with it's program to try to open up a lot of it's inner-city golf courses and minority golf centers. It's making some progress, but the actual numbers themselves -- golf has not really grown in great lengths from the participation standpoint.

There are new people coming into the game. There are also an equal number of people leaving the game every year. Truth be told, it's still a game that costs a fair amount of money to get involved with and requires a lot of real estate. From the spectators' standpoint, he's made an enormous difference. From the participation standpoint, it's very hard to say that he's made much of a difference at all.

Eric Gillin:

Bryan, what about the Tiger effect?

Bryan Katrek:

I would agree with John. I was talking to a PGA player who echoed those numbers. It's not popular sentiment. For every new face, you've lost some old faces. The new people Tiger has brought to the game are out in front of him costing his rounds to last 6 ¿ hours! There is a bit of a trade off. The demographics, the numbers are not growing like we thought they would, but they are certainly getting younger. From a business standpoint, that's not bad.

Eric Gillin:

Bryan, are there any young Tigers in the wings? What about this Tryon kid and how is "Q" school shaping up? Any surprises.

Bryan Katrek:

He is the story, the 17 year old Ty Tryon. I know that John is familiar with this story. He is so young and made a splash at 16 when he made the cut and contended for the league. He is not your average 17 yr old.He's very mature. We aren't advocating everyone try this at home. Don't turn pro when your 12 years old. But he is the exception to the rule. He is the story of Q school, but not even the cream of what's expected to be a fantastic rookie class for 2002.

Eric Gillin:

So Tiger could become the old man.

Bryan Katrek :

He's already the old man.

Chris Edmonds:

Hey Bryan, let me follow up on the Ty Tryon subject. This kid's 17 years old and you've heard a lot of criticism about his parents even allowing him to do this. That he's too young, that he should have gone to college. What's the take on the tour about this young man?

Bryan Katrek :

There's a lot of trepidation. It's not that these guys are fearing for their jobs, there are plenty of jobs to go around. A lot of guys on tour have kids Ty's age.

John Cooks got a kid Ty's age on Ty's high school team! So they don't want to have to explain to their own family and other people why it's good for him and not for them. There is some fear for their job and the game is changing.

But it's still a performance based industry. It's the truest form of capitalism. Those who do the best succeed. I don't' think this has a huge effect on the guys on tour because they're already ready for the best. They don't care how old their competitor is. They're expecting their competitor to make every shot and to be tough.

Chris Edmonds:

John, there is a lot of talk about the impact of September 11 on the golf economies. Have you and your colleagues at

Golfweek

noticed any change in recreational or professional golf patterns since the tragedy?

John Steinbreder:

It's interesting, to put it in context, golf as an industry was in a recession before this happened. It's been having a tough time. The game has been slumping. There's too much capacity, lousy weather in the spring, and the attacks have had an effect. Some clubs have lost as many as two dozen members. No one is buying anything. Anything dependent on travel is hurting. Well I think there is trepidation.

Eric Gillin:

Every year, thousands of new irons, drivers, putters, balls, bags and other paraphernalia hit the local golf shop. A few years back, it seemed the mantra was "bigger is better" thanks to the success of the Big Bertha driver. With Christmas approaching, everyone wants to know what the big holiday fad will be. Bryan, what can't you do without under the tree?

Bryan Katrek:

The newest toys is going to be the golf ball itself. The debate will be do we want these balls to go as far as they're going? Should there be some restriction? In the meantime, the balls seem to be going much farther and that is the new rage.

Not only ProV1 by Titleist, but the Lady Precept had a price point that was much lower and it's a very long golf ball. Max Wise has one called The Noodle. Very affordable balls with good feel and extremely long distance. The new toys may be the cheap ones this year. It may be the golf balls.

Eric Gillin:

Are you out there shagging Pro VI's or are they pinnacles?

Bryan Katrek:

Actually I'm chipping right now an entire bag of Lady Precepts, but I'll try anything! The things they're doing now with balls almost by accident. They react to a faster swing speed.

Chris Edmonds:

John, what about the golf ball wars? The Pro-V does make me a better golfer, but I have no idea why. Yet, everyone is now looking at the premium market. Can anyone make money at this game if everyone is playing?

John Steinbreder:

The margins on balls with the established makers are huge. Titleist is making good money in the ball business. It's entire premium ball line in less than a year.

The premium balls make up only 10% of the market. The established ball makers can do that as long as they don't have debt like Spaulding. The companies having the hardest time are Calaway's. They're basically starting from scratch and it's a hard thing for them to do. It's difficult for the newcomers, but for the people that are established -- they'll find that they can make some money.

There is are some cool things coming out for under the tree like the new sea 4 graphite driver from Calaway, which is all graphite, the head and everything. It's very expensive and in this economy people are going to spend on the small ticket items and not the big ones.

Chris Edmonds:

Let me ask you about some of the publicly traded companies. What's your take on whether or not these stocks are poised to move in any direction here and give me some of your favorite names.

John Steinbreder:

Not being an analyst, I'll be honest, I wouldn't put money in a golf company if you paid me. It's a difficult business. It's a good time to get in, but you've got Nike coming in right around the corner.

It's hard to get excited about any publicly traded golf company right now. Even the component companies are having a difficult time for the most part.

Chris Edmonds:

OK guys, time for predictions. Give me three golfers to watch in the 2002 season. And, don't worry, we'll hold you to these names and have you back as the tour gets underway next year. John, your up first.

John Steinbreder:

I want to watch Tiger. Charles Hall II has had a heck of a back end. And a local favorite JJ Henry from Fairfield, Connecticut. Great year, a great guy, an awesome player.

Chris Edmonds:

Bryan, your picks.

Bryan Katrek:

I love J.J. Henry. Charles Howell. That guy may bust out and win 4-5 times. Matt Kucher, played his way onto the tour. And you can't ignore the three guys off the tour, not to mention David Gossett, Heath Slocum, Pat Bates, and, of course, Chad Campbell who wins at every level. I wouldn't be surprised if he won not only once next year!

Chris Edmonds:

What happens to the Buy.com tour?

Bryan Katrek:

I don't know about the Buy.com tour next year. They're going to try to not have this name problem next year. They're going to try to come up with a game that's going to last that's not going to be sponsorship dependent.

John Steinbreder:

I think Bryan's right. They're going to come up with a name that the tour can keep itself.

Chris Edmonds:

Thanks guys for being here. Our guests, Bryan Katrek, host of PGA Tour Radio and John Steinbreder, Senior Writer for Golfweek magazine.

Eric Gillin:

From golf back to the markets. It's time for our weekly markets roundtable. Joining us this week are two veterans of the Roundtable: From Omaha, Ted Bridges of Bridges Investment Counsel and from Princeton, New Jersey Howard Alter of Alter Asset Management. Welcome to you both.

Howard, I'll begin with you. The resilience of this market is pretty amazing. Can we keep it up?

Howard Alter:

I'm actually not managing money. I'm taking my four year old son and working on golf with him. The resilience of the market has been incredible. The geo-political situation is improving and people are putting their money to work.

Eric Gillin:

Ted, what are your thoughts about the Dow at nearly 9900? Should I dust off my Dow 10K hat?

Ted Bridges:

You can have mine. It's hardly been worn. I would say longer term, we're still constructive here. The investors' best ally now is time. Shorter term, people have been surprised at the strength of the rally. We may see some profit taking here.

Chris Edmonds:

Howard, clearly there are a number of impacts from the continued decline in the price of oil. This OPEC meeting was a disaster. How can investors play the recent weakness in oil prices? What's the impact on the economy?

Howard Alter:

I'll take the last question first.The impact on the economy is good. When prices were firmer, a number of companies were talking about margin squeezes and we see relief there.In terms of how to play this, we're looking at Exxon now as a name that we'd want to own on the way down. And the stock has come down significantly and is back again where it was whenthe market opened after the tragedy in New York. The time you want to buy is when there is significant uncertainty. We had a drop in prices today. But we won't go much below 12 to 13 dollars. Eventually the Russians are going to realize that they are only hurting themselves.

Chris Edmonds:

But your focus would be on the integrated names, not necessarily the drillers or the service names?

Howard Alter:

The integrated names provide value and they provide dividends.

Chris Edmonds:

Ted, any thoughts?

Ted Bridges:

Chris, I would defer to you because you have the background. But I would say that we're looking and getting interested. From a long term perspective, you want to buy when there's a lot of uncertainty and not fear and concern. These prices reflect that. The question is valuation.

Eric Gillin:

Time for some holiday cheer. We're coming into the home stretch here. Hard to believe there are only seven weeks left in 2001. As Thanksgiving approaches what are two or three stocks you are most thankful for. Ted?

Ted Bridges:

I would give a couple. First is Capital One. It gives you the best of both worlds. It's down 15-20% YTD but performance is outstanding. It's down for two reasons. Providian has blown up in a high-profile disaster. And people are concerned that going into a recession, consumer finance companies carry more risk. If you look at the operations and it's long-term performance and how it's trading out, which is probably up 20% in the past month but still trading at 15 times next years earnings for a company that is a solid bet to grow for the foreseeable future, it's a bankable name.

Eric Gillin:

Howard, what are you giving thanks for in your portfolio?

Howard Alter:

Well, I'm a New Jersey Nets fan and the Knicks are having a hard time this season and so is Cablevision. Cablevision has come down significantly. It is a Cable television operator and it owns sports teams and Madison Square Garden. The company has 3 million in the New York city area alone. Its basic cable and high-speed Net service has been consistent and sustainable. Right now we're really happy about the Nets.

Chris Edmonds:

This year has produced lots of Turkeys. Howard, what is your biggest gaggling investment of the year?

Howard Alter:

Ours is a chicken. Not one we bought but sold way to early. TriCon Global, a spin off of Pepsi. They have KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. We lost faith in managements ability to turn Taco Bell around. The company did a better job than we thought. We've left a lot of money on the table that we wish we hadn't.

Chris Edmonds:

What are you doing with the stock now?

Howard Alter:

The stock has moved to 51-52 and we certainly wouldn't be a buyer here.

Chris Edmonds:

Ted, how about you?

Ted Bridges:

If Howard was hanging out with our family, he never would have sold because we always go to Taco Bell! Level 3 was our turkey for the year.We started buying aggressively about this time last year. The company was building out a telecommunications network. Thought it was down 75%. It bottomed at 1.89 a month ago. I think we haven't see the last.

TheStreet.com

had articles in the last day or two. We still remain very constructive long-term.

Howard Alter:

That was our #2 on turkeys as well.

Ted Bridges:

I would agree with you. While the company maybe made some errors, it has done a terrific job in the worst time you can imagine. Now it has been buying back its debt. With Level 3, it's never easy but always interesting.

Chris Edmonds:

Let me jump in with a question about Level 3 and Buffett. There were all sorts of rumors when things were really their darkest that because of Buffett's relationship there that he might have interest or he might take a stake. But could there be any truth to that?

Ted Bridges:

The closest analogy I can come up with is when Buffett and Walter Scott together took Cal Energy private a couple of years ago. I think Level 3 looks like a utility, a lot riskier utility. It's a start up in a sense. A utility dealing in a commodity that's next century as opposed to oil or gas. I would never rule it out but in the short run, it stretched my imagination to think there was something live there. Never say never.

Chris Edmonds:

Howard, you're a Berkshire holder, any thoughts?

Howard Alter:

He might be more interested in debt now. Over the last few weeks, there's more optimism that Equity folks may come out good. The returns are attractive.

Ted Bridges:

That's a good point. The odds on Buffett with the Equity would be 1/1,000,000. That would make sense.

Eric Gillin:

What was the biggest lesson you learned this year?

Ted Bridges:

This year the thing I've been re-educated on is that valuations always go further higher and further lower than you expect.

Howard Alter:

We keep getting slammed every time we leave our core confidence. Our bests are where we really know the players and investors. Every year we think we know more than we do and get into places where we'd be better off keeping capital in our core level of confidence. Stick to what you know.

Eric Gillin:

Despite scary news reports and panicky people, especially here in New York City, there is much to be thankful for. What companies, stocks, investments or phenomenon are you guys most thankful for?

Howard Alter:

The buying we did after September 11 especially in retail, some heavier Disney buying was helpful. Buying at a time of max fear when the valuations are all good usually leads to some good long term outcomes. It has surprised everyone.

Ted Bridges:

I would say, you're thankful for your discipline. Sometimes it leads you away from your core confidence. There's a way to insure that you get there. Stay with what you know. You need to take a long term perspective on the Equity market. I'm thankful we have the courage to throw some money at it when it seemed like it couldn't get worst and that will help for us mitigate what has been a tough year. We tend to look at things 5,6.7 years out.

Chris Edmonds:

I'm thankful for the two of you and the other guest on our show that provide insights and make our listeners and readers better investors. We'll have you back soon. Since we have a holiday next week, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to Howard Alter of Alter Asset Management and Ted Bridges of Bridges Investment. Eric, another good week. And, a holiday next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Eric Gillin:

That's right, no show next week and we'll miss all of you but we will be back in two weeks and we'll take a look at the early returns from the holiday shopping season and also a look at some serious and not so serious holiday traditions as we kick off a December filled with good cheer and, of course, eggnog.

And, of course, we'll take a look at the markets, the Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street and Yi-Ping and the news.

Until then, thanks to all of our guests and Chris, thanks to you. See you next week.

Chris Edmonds:

Look forward to it. Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night.

Eric Gillin:

Excellent. Happy Thanksgiving to all as well. Until November 29, Cheers.