The market recouped some of its gains today, but tight credit and – here we go again – high energy prices are scaring the hell out of investors and keeping them out of the market. My gut tells me we haven’t hit bottom yet, even at a Dow Jones average of 11,390. One trader on CNBC’s Power Lunch today said we could “crash right through” the 10,000 barrier if energy prices don’t come down (and help reduce inflation) and if the big financial houses don’t get their act together (now Merrill Lynch is talking about another $6 billion write down because of bad debts.)
On the tech side, not much to address today, with the possible exception of the Chinese government getting closer to a deal to let Apple sell its new iPhone on the mainland.
Reuters broke that story today, reporting that “talks to bring Apple's iPhone to mainland China have cleared their biggest hurdle and are now focusing on practical issues, the country's top mobile operator China Mobile said on Friday.”
I wouldn’t get too excited yet, although the opening of the Chinese market would be a huge coup for Apple. The big problem for China Mobile was Apple’s insistence on a revenue-sharing deal, but that has now been dropped. "Apple is no longer insisting on a revenue-sharing policy, so the biggest hurdle for China Mobile to bring in the iPhone has been cleared, but there are practical issues still to be resolved," said China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei. Apple hopes to introduce the iPhone to both Russia and China by the end of 2008.
In other news from the tech side of the street, technology fund manager Tom Laming appeared on Marketwatch radio this afternoon and said the tech sector is now a great buying opportunity.
"People forget how bad things have been for tech the last five or six years," said Laming, manager of the AFBA 5-Star Science & Technology Fund. That cycle is petering out and the technology sector should be a booming again for the next five or six years. Again, his words, not mine. Laming said technology has been living through boom and bust cycles that typically start with hype driving stocks rapidly upward, leading to disappointment that brings them down. The next phase is about reality and growth, Laming said, which is precisely where the sector is now.
His favorites for bust-out growth? Two currently volatile stocks – Research in Motion and Intel. Both have been undervalued of late and will catch up the rest of the market soon, making them ideal buying opportunities.