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Thursday, 20 March 2008

Barton Biggs says Dow could rally 1,000 points

By Brian Sullivan and Michael Patterson

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- The decline in U.S. stocks is ``way overdone'' and the Dow Jones Industrial Average may rally 1,000 points, investor Barton Biggs said.

``We're in a financial panic,'' Biggs said during a telephone interview with Bloomberg Television from New York. ``We're setting up for a really big rally. I don't mean three or four hundred points on the Dow, I mean 1,000 points on the Dow. I don't know if we're going to get it next week or the week after. But this thing has gotten crazy and is overdone.''

Biggs, a former Morgan Stanley strategist who now runs the $1.5 billion hedge fund Traxis Partners LLC, said stock markets from Germany to Hong Kong may bottom out soon after tumbling this year. Biggs's prediction in March 2007 that U.S. stocks were near a low preceded a 16 percent rally in the Dow average during the next four months. His forecast that the Dow would climb as much as 19 percent in 2007 overshot its actual gain by almost 13 percentage points.

``We're at a really crucial point,'' Biggs said. ``This is a time to be buying stocks around the world and not to be selling them.''

The Dow average has tumbled 16 percent to 11,951.09 since reaching a record in October after the subprime-mortgage market's collapse caused $195 billion in asset writedowns and credit losses at global financial firms including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. A 1,000-point gain in the Dow from today's close would amount to an 8.4 percent rise.

U.S. stocks plunged today for the third time this week, sending the Dow average down 1.6 percent, after Bear Stearns Cos. required a bailout from the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to avoid collapse.

``Yeah, it's scary. It's always scary at bottoms. But I don't believe the economy is collapsing,'' Biggs said. ``This is not the end of the world.''

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