Prediction by analyst Bigwig Could Help Drive Market : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Monday January 3, 2:05 pm Eastern Time

Morgan Stanley's Wien -Fed to hike rates 100 pts by yr-end NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien said Monday that he sees the Federal Reserve beginning a monetary tightening in the spring and hiking rates by more than 100 basis points by year-end to slow the economy.

The tightening, combined with high valuations, will spark a stock market slide that will take the Standard & Poor's 500 (^SPX - news) down 25 percent, where it will remain for several months.

He said that the powerful advances in the global and U.S. economies and stock markets will create an enormous demand for capital early in the year, and the long U.S. Treasury bond yield will top 7.5 percent, further straining excessive equity valuations.

He also sees online users complaining about slow speeds, disappointing service at some tech companies, and delivery bottlenecks from e-tailers triggering buyer resistance in Internet-related stocks.

``There is a graduated carnage in technology. Some Internet content and retailing stocks correct 50 percent, and access providers come down by a third. Personal computer and other hardware companies with current earnings only decline 25 percent,'' Wien added.

``The Internet continues to be viewed as the most powerful business phenomenon in our lifetime, but the stocks were discounting a profitability reality that was unlikely to come true.''

During the year, Wien sees the price of crude oil moving above $30 a barrel and staying there as growth throughout most of the world beats expectations and supply remains under control.

He expects oil service stocks to rally, with Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL - news), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE:SLB - news) and Smith International Inc. (NYSE:SII - news) seeing gains.

This could be the year for hospital management firms after a number of dismal years, Wien said.

Conflicts with the government are reversed as legislators view these operations as part of the healthcare solution rather than part of the problem, he forecast, adding that Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. (NYSE:COL - news), Tenet HealthCare (NYSE:THC - news) and Health Management Associates Inc. (NYSE:HMA - news) will do especially well.

The Russell 2000 will outperform the S&P 500 by rising more at the beginning of the year and declining less later on, he said. As commodity prices continue to move higher, new leadership sectors will appear and intermediate materials stocks will outperform the indexes.

Restructuring has proven a good medicine for Europe this year, he said. Wien sees the European economy climbing by 4 percent, with the euro hitting 1.25 against the dollar during the summer.

However, he did not see the same rosy outlook in Japan. Restructuring will backfire in Japan and the economy will slip back into recession on high unemployment, low consumer spending, and weak capital outlays, Wien said.

He expects foreign investors to sell Japanese issues, driving the Nikkei back below 15,000, and panicked Japanese to repatriate their overseas investments. The yen/dollar exchange rate will hit 80.

Wien's forecasts were part of a research note that outlined ``surprises of 2000.'' He thinks each view has 50 percent or better chance of occurring.

But he ended on a more playful note.

``... if I had the guts to be bullish in recognition of the profound meaning of the new economy: the market broadens and the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones each rises more than 20 percent for the sixth straight year, without a major contribution from technology stocks.''

This was a Reuters article posted on Yahoo finance.

-- Guy Daley (, January 03, 2000

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