Chris Edmonds, special contributor to TheStreet.com, and Eric Gillin, staff reporter, chatted on Yahoo!, Thursday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. EDT. To hear the chat, click here.
laura_the_street: Welcome to the Street.com's chat. Chris Edmonds and Eric Gillin are here to take your questions on the market. rm_egillin: It's Thursday. It's 5 o'clock. It's time for TheStreet.com's "Martini Chat Room." That is, unless he disagrees with me. Then he's toast. We're looking for some tough questions for Chris, the more obnoxious the better. This is a chat, remember? I'll need all the help you can provide. I have about 15 seconds of material this week. So, hey, we got a full plate. Dell's earnings are out, Ciena blew up. Yeah, we're gonna be real busy tonight. K.C. Swanson will be on in about 10 minutes with the 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street, we'll talk about Tuesday's big Federal Reserve hoo hah, plus we'll be taking your questions. This is the debut edition of this show, which will run on Yahoo! Chat each and every Thursday from 5 to 6. Be there or we won't like you anymore. But before we get to Chris, golf, you guys, K.C. or anything else -- and trust me, we'll get to all that today -- I'd like to make a little toast before we settle down with our drinks and kick off the shenanigans. I'd like to make a toast to the individual investor. You guys out there. You hard-working masses yearning to trade free in this market, which is a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio's co-called film career. Yeah, just like the stock market, he took a late '90s hot streak Titanic into a really bad 2000 The Beach with hopes that the end of 2001 Gangs of New York will turn things around. It's a trillion degrees out, all the traffic patterns around Broad Street have been changed and no one is here on Wall Street to return phone calls. To make matters even worse, most traders and analysts are more irritable than Courtney Love at someone else's movie premiere. But no one, and I mean no one, is as touchy as the individual investor. Perhaps it's the fact that the economy has gone from 60 to 0 in 2.2 nanoseconds. Maybe it's the stinging red welt known as "my year 2000 portfolio returns." Or maybe people are just bored with a stock market that likes to do a whole lot of nothing, punctuated by bouts of standing still. But I'm not raising a glass to those nitpicky losers who whine and blame others for their portfolio losses. Nope. Like "The Idiot." You'd have an easier time cornering the market in 3M shares than you would convincing anyone of anything by typing "PUMP AND DUMP!!" a trillion times over. Or what about you Cisco addicts! Not that we're recommending, or bashing, any one stock here, but there's a multitude clinging to the well-honed investment strategy suggesting the networking giant "just has to come back," mostly because, well, it was somewhere before. The "This Is All Greenspan's Fault" investor is another pest I could live without. Sling whatever mud you want at Uncle Alan, but it's not his job to give you 20% returns every year. Heal thyself. Mr. Know-It-Alls are usually seen on the golf course giving dissertations on the ins and outs of networking technology while less intelligent, but much smarter investors are talking about the homebuilders they bought back in January. You're a Nobody, standing there in an airport Starbucks, watching CNBC and telling the teen-age counter staff that AOL "just crossed the tape at 45 and a teeny," the advance decline line "shows a 14-to-11 advantage for losers," and the Dow "is facing resistance at 10,247." But above all other annoyances, I'm not drinking to Warren Buffett. Speaking of which -- pretty blech day overall, but it ended nicely. The Dow rallied at the end of the day to close up 46. Chris, I know you're out there in Atlanta? How much of today's market did you get to watch? guest_tsc: You told me it closed up 46 points today? I was busy watching Tiger. You sound like the Jim Rome of Marketnews. rm_egillin: Should I start calling you Chrissy? I've been trying to sound like somebody. Maybe an Idiot is more like it. guest_tsc: I could have made more money today taking money from people who thought Tiger is going to win the PGA championship than I would have made in the market. I did some research on market volume and it's up year after year. Since April it's been drying up month after month. What's the deal? rm_egillin: On a serious note, that's a serious observation. People who should have sold a long time ago are finally beginning to see the light, or the darkness, if you will. There is a little capitulation, not as much as you'd see at the end of a bear market, that would signal the bottom. There is apathetic trading. I think people trade and then change their mind. For lack of a better definition, it's almost senseless. Do you think we'll be ready to retest April's low? guest_tsc: I don't know about seeing April's low, but I think we'll wallow until we see some sort of catalyst. We have to find some set of data that provide us with a feeling that something is going to go right. We got so used to everything going up up up that it makes this bear worse. We don't know how to handle it anymore. rm_egillin: Volume's pretty thin overall. Not a fun place to be. The only thing that's kept us out of the economy is the strength of the consumer. guest_tsc: I think the consumer will turn out to be a lagging indicator. I'm not real excited looking at the retail sales numbers and other indications of consumer sentiment. rm_egillin: Where's that money coming from? Is the consumer a lagging indicator? I had a friend who bought a TV on credit card. He has no job. guest_tsc: A lot of this is credit. To say that the consumer is going to keep the economy moving puts a lot on the back of the consumer. laura_the_street: There is a lot of credit, and what happens if you don't pay it? Target isn't going to come and take the T.V. No one is really thinking this is a bad thing. Stuck with bad credit isn't the worse thing that can happen -- at least not in the 22-year-old consumer's mind. rm_egillin: I think consumers will get the shaft. Chris, what's your take? guest_tsc: I'm not willing to write the consumer off entirely, but everyone who says the consumer will carry this economy to recovery on his back -- I don't buy that. rm_egillin:Ready KC. Now it's time to do the 5 dumbest things on Wall Street. Why don't you run down the list... rm_kc2000: Microsoft CEO Ballmer embarrasses himself. guest_tsc: What was the funniest response from readers? rm_kc2000: We'll be running that on the site tomorrow. Cisco still hasn't scaled back over-the-top estimates. They are flying in the face of reality. In the postearnings conference all the CEO said, "Only time will tell if our industry grows between 15% to 20%, as many industry pundits believe, or in the 30% to 50%