While we here at Abnormal Returns do not make forecasts that does not mean we cannot take some pleasure in reading others fearless forecasts. We think you can read forecasts two ways. The first is for entertainment purposes, the second is to (using a trite phrase) “think outside the box.”

We have mentioned previously that great investors challenge their investment beliefs. One way is to read forecasts from analysts and writers who do not necessarily have an axe to grind. Often the most useful forecasts are the ones that seem to have the lowest probability of occuring.

We do not remember anyone predicting a new CEO at Dow Jones (DJ), but it has already happened and the stock has rallied on the news. James Cramer writing in New York magazine has six predictions, one of which has to do with Dow Jones. Cramer predicts that Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. (NWS) is going to purchase the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. Worth a look.

Hedge fund manager Doug Kass in TheStreet.com has wide-ranging list of 25 predictions for the new year. In contrast, Kass predicts that another big name, Warren Buffett, will purchase Dow Jones and the flagship newspaper.

One analyst who continues to predict, early and often, despite being often wrong is Elaine Garzarelli. Bremen Leak at Businessweek.com notes that for the past few years she has predicted great things for the U.S. equity market.

John Hussman at Hussman Funds has a much more muted outlook for the U.S. market in 2006. Hussman notes that his outlook is driven by his investment models, and is therefore open to change. If you are not a reader of Hussman’s weekly commentary this is a good introduction for the new year.

As always take all these forecasts with a big grain of salt. We hope all of our readers have a happy and prosperous New Year.

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