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Birinyi Buys Citigroup Saying Selloff Was Normal Reaction to Fed

The selloff that pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down almost 4 percent was a “normal correction” amid evolving Federal Reserve policy and created opportunities in bank stocks, according to Laszlo Birinyi.

Birinyi, among the first to advise buying shares before the bull market began in 2009, bought Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group this week, he said in an interview with Trish Regan and Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.”

“To me this is just a normal correction reacting to some unexpected news,” Birinyi, president of Birinyi Associates Inc., said. “I still think you’re in a bull market.”

Goldman Sachs declined 0.1 percent to $155.23 at 3:27 p.m. New York time today, while Citigroup sank 1.8 percent to $47.03. Birinyi said he isn’t buying Bank of America Corp., which slipped 1.1 percent to $12.75.

The S&P 500 dropped 3.9 percent June 19 and 20 after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he may start tapering a bond-buying program meant to stimulate the economy. While the benchmark gauge for U.S. equity is down 4.3 percent since the all-time high May 21, it’s gained 136 percent since the 12-year low in March 2009.

Birinyi said he’s betting against gold-mining companies by selling short shares of Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold Corp.

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