"The big story is the drop in energy prices," Aaron Task, co-executive editor of
"RealMoney" radio show listeners on Tuesday. Task is filling in for host Jim Cramer this week.
Though this has been good for transportation stocks, economically sensitive stocks and chemical companies, it cuts both ways, Task said. "It's a rough day for the energy patch."
"We're in this environment where folks who've made a lot of money in certain sectors," including energy, are not "waiting around to see what will happen," Task said. "They're selling first and asking questions later."
From what the market is doing today, Task said, it looks like investors are betting that Ben Bernanke will back away from some hawkish comments made by other
policymakers when the chairman testifies before Congress on Wednesday.
Hopefully Bernanke will realize that the low unemployment rate that has recently ramped up inflation fears is a misleading number, Task added.
He cited the fact that there are many people who have left the job market and are no longer counted and that many people with jobs are not being paid what they believe they are worth.
If Bernanke is more dovish, Task believes, that could be good for commodities and bad for the dollar.
Task welcomed Doug Kass to the show. Kass is a general partner with Seabreeze Partners, and a contributor to
and the man Task calls the "anti-Cramer."
"I suspect that Bernanke will be relatively opaque," Kass said. "I expect a more hawkish approach in the next three of four Fed meetings. ... I'm looking for rates to hit 5.0% to 5.25% by midyear."
Kass has said previously that consumer spending will slow. In light of January's blowout consumer spending numbers, he acknowledged that they were very good.
But he said that February comparisons would be a lot tougher because there is more full-price merchandise in February and there won't be a "gift card effect" in the next two reports.
In terms of the energy sector, Kass called it "over-loved and over-owned" by momentum investors, adding that it's important to not be left holding the bag.
Both Task and Kass agreed that investors should be wary of financial plays in this environment, particularly those that have recently rallied.
Kass took a moment to discuss his critique of Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" television show, saying that "what concerns me is not the delivery of the ideas, but the reaction of the investors to move some of these stocks as much as 15% to 20% overnight."
Task told a caller that
has had a nice run from about $9 to $14 and that Cody Willard, a
contributor, likes the company.
Though Kass would not comment directly on Tellabs, he said that he is not bullish on the tech sector. For starters, he doesn't see the capital-spending boom that many see for tech.
And he finds it worrisome that the sector has become increasingly exposed to the health of consumer spending.
Kass told another caller that he would be a little concerned by a pickup in insider sales at
Like many exploration companies, it has had a huge run; and despite the fact that that it's down from its high, Kass said he doesn't see much of a bounce.
Kass also said that
is a bit rich in relation to sales, cash flow and earnings but that it is in a good sector.
A caller asked what to do about
, which he bought at $75 and is now near $70.
Task said that it's a bad idea to sit on a loser in the hopes that it will bounce back. But even though the drillers are out of favor now, a high-quality company like Nabors is well-positioned for a long-term bet.
The Heart of the Matter
In honor of Valentine's Day, certified financial planner Russell Bosworth joined Task to talk about the "
A recent study conducted by Ohio State University found that married people see their net worth increase by more than their single or divorced counterparts.
Bosworth said that there were three possible reasons for these findings, the first being that "in this day and age, both people in a couple are usually working." So twice the income comes in, while bills and other expenses are shared, he said.
He has also observed that people get more serious about setting financial goals and putting those plans into action after they get married.
Task agreed, saying that marriage really encourages a person to start thinking about long-term financial planning, whether it is for their kids or for retirement.
While it can't be tangibly measured, "think of mistakes you've made that wouldn't have happened if there had been someone to talk to," Bosworth said.
For couples who don't see eye-to-eye about their finances, he said that the first step was open and honest communication.
Bosworth pointed out that only the couples in the study who stayed married saw financial rewards and that the same communication that allowed them to hold their relationship together would allow them to get their finances together.
And his biggest piece of advice for people, married or single, who want to get serious about their financial futures was to "know thyself."
"Sit down and do an honest assessment of where you are financially ... and where you want to be," said Bosworth, who emphasized that it's essential to not keep anything hidden because it will be impossible to set and achieve goals if you can't face reality.
And for those who don't turn to a professional financial planner, Bosworth said to bounce ideas off of someone else.
Aaron L. Task is the co-executive editor of TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships.
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