The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended its six-week losing streak last week as fears of debt defaults eased and the global economy appeared to improve.
The blue-chip bellwether rose for the third straight day yesterday (Monday) to close at 12,080.38 as bargain-hunters moved in and investor concerns about a Greek debt default continued to ease.
But where does the Dow go from here?
That's what we're asking Money Morning's readers as part of our "Predict the Dow/Win an iPad2" contest, which started last week. We're asking readers to predict where the Dow will be when the second quarter comes to a close on June 30. Deadline for entries is June 26.
Margaret Riddagh of Wilmington isn't sanguine about the market's outlook. She sees a second-quarter Dow close of 11,489.25 – a drop of more than 500 points, or about 5%, from present levels.
"I believe that the market will reflect more closely how the economy is really doing," she wrote with her entry. "The decline will start slow but continue as people realize that bad times are ahead, due to governmental policies."
Blake Springer of Charlotte is really bearish, predicting a second-quarter Dow close of 10,672.32 – a point that's about 11% from yesterday's late-afternoon trading.
"Continuous falls [will stoke] fears of raising the debt ceiling, leading to inflation and the unloading of Treasury bonds," he wrote. "This, among other things, will drive the Dow down."
Karen Owens of Gainesville, FL, falls into the bullish camp, predicting a second-quarter close of 12,424.33 – which she acknowledges is partly a guess.
However, Owens did note that "I believe something will be worked out for the Greek debt and the market will be hugely relieved" – enough, in fact, to ignite a rally.
What do you think? Give us your best guess and qualify for a chance to win a top-of-the-line Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad2 (MSRP $829). And if you really want to have some fun, forward the contest to family members or friends – and challenge them to see which of you can get the closest to the actual second-quarter Dow close.
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Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press. With his latest project, Private Briefing, Bill takes you "behind the scenes" of his established investment news website for a closer look at the action. Members get all the expert analysis and exclusive scoops he can't publish... and some of the most valuable picks that turn up in Bill's closed-door sessions with editors and experts.