George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

November 21, 2014

It's about time for CNBC to apologize to Jeremy Siegel. Remember about a month ago, when I told you of a confrontation on the cable business channel between a midday anchor, Kelly Evans, and professor Jeremy Siegel after he suggested the Dow industrials would hit 18,000 before the end of the year? "With all due respect, professor Siegel, how can we possibly reach that level?" she snidely asked. She preferred to support the opinion of another professor, Robert Shiller, who has been calling for a major stock market crash. Well, Kelly, it sure looks like the smart money was on Siegel. The Dow this morning opened sharply higher, within 100 points of the 18K mark.

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It's about time for CNBC to apologize to Jeremy Siegel. Remember about a month ago, when I told you of a confrontation on the cable business channel between a midday anchor, Kelly Evans, and professor Jeremy Siegel after he suggested the Dow industrials would hit 18,000 before the end of the year? "With all due respect, professor Siegel, how can we possibly reach that level?" she snidely asked.

Siegel is a perennial bull and has authored several books including "Stocks for the Long Run." Not as glib as the perennial bear Shiller, Siegel is not a polished speaker but his logical explanation on why stocks will always provide long-term benefits seems to be too tough for poor Kelly to grasp.

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The rally today follows news out of China and Europe calling for new efforts to stimulate the economies to avoid a recession. By cutting rates and using quantitative easing, as was the case in the United States, it bodes for continued low rates globally for some time to come. The Dow and S&P 500 had closed at record levels again yesterday, number 27 for the Dow and 44 for the S&P 500.

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It is almost embarrassing to see the stupid headline at MarketWatch.com this morning saying, "The man who called the last stock crash is already blaming the Fed for the next." The reference is to Peter Schiff, a Newport Beach money manager who has been touting gold for years and predicting the next crash for the same amount of time. One thing about the permabears, if you keep saying there will be a crash long enough, you will ultimately be right. Think of all the poor fools who followed his advice four years ago and sold stocks to buy gold.

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A week from today is Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season. Wells Fargo is out with its forecast and things look pretty good. "We expect this year's sales growth to surpass last year's soft 3.3 percent increase. In addition to the more robust pace of holiday sales, spending per person also looks like it will be stronger this year," cites the report. They expect the year-over-year increase in spending to be the biggest since 2010. Also, the Wells Fargo survey found 44 percent of respondents indicated they would do some or all of their shopping online.

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A new report from the American Botanical Council now finds tea is the second-most-popular drink in the United States with sales rising 5.9 percent in 2013. So-called loose herbal tea sales rose to $1.75 billion last year and ready-to-drink tea product sales topped $2.38 billion. "Growing demand for tea in the United States is being driven by three primary factors: health and wellness trends, positive media coverage, and an evolving retail landscape," said the council. What is the No. 1 drink in America, you ask? Water.

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The Bolts have to be absolutely thrilled with last night's upset victory by the Raiders over the KC Chiefs. It was the first win of the season from the hapless boys from Oakland and keeps the Chargers in the hunt for the division title. But fair-weather fans may jump ship if the guys fail to beat the Rams on Sunday at the Q.

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