Updated from 7:15 a.m. with final poll resultsNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The bears don't like the House's passage of health care legislation and it shows in our latest sentiment survey. As of the poll's closing at 9:15 a.m. Monday, participants in the poll who were bearish tallied a resounding 901, or 57.9% of the 1,555 votes cast in TheStreet.com's RealMoney Barometer Poll. Bulls came in at 461, or 29.6% of the total votes, while poll participants who were neutral garnered 193 votes, or 12.4%. The House of Representatives late Sunday night passed the $940 billion health care overhaul. Precious metals was chosen by survey-takers at the sector most likely to rise this week, while HMOs and hospitals came in second. HMOs and hospitals garnered the most votes for the sector most likely to decline this week, with the insurance sector second, as investors appear unsure of what exactly the passage of the legislation will mean for the industries. One strategist, Robert Pavlik of Banyan Partners, believes the bill is "watered down" and stocks such as Aetna ( AET), Cigna ( CI) and Humana won't see big moves with the bill's passage. Earnings on the docket this week include Best Buy ( BBY), Oracle ( ORCL) and Lennar ( LEN). > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.
Here's a wrap-up of our other polls: Blockbuster ( BBI) should not file for bankruptcy, according to readers of TheStreet. In a weeklong poll, 60.1% of respondents said Blockbuster should continue to fight, while 39.9% said a Chapter 11 filing is its only option. Earlier this week, Blockbuster warned in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it might be forced to file Chapter 11 if cash flows don't improve and it is unable to restructure its debt. Blockbuster reportedly has about $1 billion in debt. "These factors raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern," Blockbuster said in the filing. The news sent shares plunging, at one point falling to a 52-week low of 25 cents, as investors feared a bankruptcy filing would render shares practically worthless. But the stock began rallying after-hours Thursday, when CEO John Keyes calmed investors. Keyes told the Dallas Morning Journal that, despite the SEC filing, Blockbuster's situation hasn't changed much over the past year. Investors embraced this optimism, sending shares gaining as much as 16%. Regardless, the stock ended the week down 22% to close on Friday at 32 cents a share. >>Click here for full results and analysis of our Blockbuster bankruptcy poll
Despite proposed clean-air legislation; burgeoning clean-energy alternatives like solar and wind power; and speculation as to the demise of coal as an electric-power source; coal companies and coal stocks will likely save themselves, according to a recent poll by TheStreet. No fewer than 79.9% of voters in our weeklong poll, conducted during the week of March 15, say that coal stocks will embrace clean-coal technology to a degree sufficient to keep them viable for decades. The remaining 20.1% of respondents disagree, saying they still consider coal stocks to be a risky investment, given the prohibitively expensive cost of clean coal technology. Or, then again, much of the recent investor interest in coal stocks might actually have less to do with optimism about clean-coal technology and more to do with pessimism about the pace of renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, companies like Consol Energy ( CNX), which on March 15 announced its agreement to buy Dominion Resources' ( D) natural gas properties for $3.5 billion in cash, have proven that coal and natural gas businesses are note mutually exclusive. Another coal producer, Massey Energy ( MEE) continues to seek potential natural gas deals, even as it carries on with expanding it coal reserves. Also, in February, coal company Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR) announced a joint venture with Rice Energy to begin developing that company's Marcellus shale gas resource in southwestern Pennsylvania. >>Click here for full results and analysis of our coal companies poll
Based on Morningstar's estimated price of around $8,000 to $10,000, Tata Motors' ( TTM) proposed electric car would be chosen over the other electric car options -- and by a resounding margin -- according to a poll by TheStreet. A full 81.6% of our survey respondents say they would opt for the Tata Nano EV over other electric car options, while 18.4% believe that the proposed Nano EV car is still a bit pricey, or just too small -- or both. Other electric cars soon to hit the market include Nissan's ( NSANY) Leaf and GM's Chevrolet Volt, which are expected to be available for sale by the end of the year. GM's gas-electric Volt has a reported price tag of $40,000, and will run roughly 40 miles running on an electric charge, while Nissan's 100% electric Leaf will reportedly be sold for less than $30,000 after tax rebates, and will boast a range of about 100 miles. In preparation for the growing interest in electric cars, KB Home ( KBH) on March 9 announced that it will begin offering an option to pre-wire its new built-to-order homes to accommodate charging stations for homeowners' electric vehicles, and that the pre-wire option is now available nationwide. Meanwhile, California is offering up to $5,000 in rebates to buyers of electric vehicles. >>Click here for full results and analysis of our Tata Nano EV poll
The corporate power lunch is synonymous with Gordon Gekko's steak tartar in Wall Street -- a mound of raw red flesh as metaphor the go-for-the-throat meddle of would-be cutthroat capitalists. The corporate charitable lunch, on the other hand, is synonymous with a finely grilled filet mignon with mild-mannered Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK. B) chief Warren Buffett. Buffett's annual charity lunch and its lucky winner -- a winner who has laid out millions of dollars in past years for the honor -- has become a minor sign in the major charitable giving of the Berkshire Hathaway chief. Indeed,
Buffett's philanthropic side was recently brought to light when he slipped to third in the annual ranking by Forbes of the world's richest men -- a slide in part caused by Buffett's big-hearted giving. Thus, in a nod to our readership, and in the Buffett-inspired spirit of charitable giving, we asked our reader last week: If you could donate $1 million to share a steak lunch with Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, or Howard Stern and Mel Karmazin, who would you choose? The survey's second-place finishers were Howard Stern and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin. The indefatigable Sirius XM fans comprised 25% of survey takers who indicated that a lunch with Howard Stern and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin was worth a $1 million check -- a worthy charity might, in fact, be Sirius XM shareholders. Still, the top result: approximately 34% of survey respondents said they would rather keep their $1 million than donate the money to charity and lunch with any of these guys. Gordon Gekko, at least, would approve. Apparently, greed is still good. >>Click here for full results and analysis of our charity lunch poll
Apple ( AAPL) came into the week beginning last Monday, March 15, having accomplished a neat feat: the consumer technology giant passed retail giant Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) for third place among U.S market cap leaders. There is still a wide gap between Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil ( XOM) and Microsoft ( MSFT). In light of this, we asked TheStreet readers coming into the week, Which of these U.S. bellwether stocks will be, by year's end, the Market-Cap King of the group? It was no contest: 57% of survey-takers like Apple's chances vs. Buffett and the Waltons. Slow-and-steady investors of the Buffett-mold did respond to the survey with steadiness: 35% of survey-takers believe Berkshire Hathaway will end 2010 as third largest market-cap stock in the U.S. It was, surprisingly, price-slashing Wal-Mart -- which extended its market-cap lead over both Apple and Berkshire Hathaway in the most recent week -- that finished a distant third in this hypothetical race. Only 8% of survey respondents think that Wal-Mart will hold onto its market-cap crown by year's end. >>Click here for full results and analysis of our market-cap poll -- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Ty Wenger in New York.