Markets were hammered Monday as investors grew more concerned the Covid omicron variant could have a significant impact on the global economy.
Five experts weigh in on what they think may be ahead for U.S. stocks:
Chris Hyzy, chief investment officer at Bank of America Private Bank, says the stock market has come back to fundamentals.
“Coming off the extraordinary gains of 2020 and 2021… we’re almost back to the basics again. You have to take a position on earnings growth. And profit growth, from our perspective, should be better than expected. Consensus is out there with a 7% or 8% move. But when you look at some of the trends, particularly consumer spending despite the growth worries we’re all talking about right now, when we look back on all this and we go to the summer of next year … we think this is an opportunity to reposition portfolios… The growth worries, the growth shocks that are being repriced right now, we would fade that. We think growth is actually going to be better than expected despite the latest worries.”
Steve Weiss, founder of Short Hills Capital, says the Federal Reserve may be making the right move at the wrong time.
“It’s very clear evidence that the market is most concerned about Covid and the variants and not that concerned about not passing Build Back Better and not as concerned about the Fed in terms of raising rates except for the fact — I’m going to modify that and modify it importantly — that the Fed is tightening monetary policy at the wrong time. So it’s growth fears that are hitting everything and it’s pretty indiscriminate.”
Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi, focuses her forecast on how 2021 could close out.
“We have uncertainty, obviously, heading into the end of the year. We keep asking ourselves, ‘Is the Santa Claus rally at risk?’ It’s already not happening. The Santa Claus rally usually starts to take shape about mid-month. We’re here on the 20th, there’s no rally. I think that we could go lower from here. Maybe we rally into the end of the year but that’s going to have absolutely nothing to do with Santa Claus. It has everything to do with the idea that we have uncertainty over Covid and we have a Fed that isn’t going to save us this time. And frankly, they shouldn’t save us. They are tightening at the right time in the sense that the economy is still pretty strong regardless of what the market is saying. The economy is doing OK. Inflation is hot. They have to control that in order for the economy to continue growing through 2022.”
Joe Terranova, senior managing director at Virtus Investment Partners, says it all comes back to risk.
“I struggle with a lot of these short-term calls. I think what is so important and really missing at all times from these conversations, what’s the most important word to all of us if we’re investors, if we’re speculators, short term, long term? It’s the word, risk. It’s the primary word in the financial services vocabulary, and it’s one that’s reshaping itself right now. Why? Risk is always present. And we are now coming off of 2021 that has the highest risk-adjusted return for investors in decades. You have low realized volatility, strong performance for the S&P … Now you have a pivot on the part of the Federal Reserve, the abundant liquidity, the oceans of liquidity, they’re pulling back on that and in that process, a lot of the riskier strategies, whether it was allocating to hyper-growth stocks, or high valuation technology stocks, or small caps that were correlated to this roaring ’20s narrative that never actually unfolded. Risk is now being reshaped and it’s being exchanged from weaker hands into stronger hands. And I think the right thing to ask yourself is, ‘Is this the onset of the bear market?’ Absolutely not in my opinion, credit markets are trading fine today. This is a correction that is going to provide an opportunity, and that opportunity presents itself depending upon where you sit on the risk curve.”
Jon Najarian, co-founder of MarketRebellion.com, explains his current strategy.
“I’ve been active for the last three days, I guess. I’ve been converting stock positions into simulated long stock positions by getting into options just because the volatility was cheap enough… When we had the cheaper volatility last week, I thought it was prudent to get out of stocks, which I’d been doing for the better part of two weeks and getting into call spreads to simulate that same long exposure. So I was doing that in a host of stocks. Everything from JPMorgan to Lululemon to Bank of New York… That just seemed like a prudent thing to do. If VOL gets high enough, and I don’t really think that we’re going to see too many days where we see Joe Manchin shutting down Build Back Better, where we see Davos being canceled, and omicron cases exploding in New York and other parts of the country all at the same time, I don’t think we’re going to see too many more days like this. So if we get that significant pop in volatility, I’d be willing to get right back into these stocks and then sell those higher-valued, pumped-up options against them.”