Former presidential hopeful Ron Paul believes the Trump rally will soon come to a halt. » Read More
Raymond James'Jeffrey Saut warns investors that stocks are susceptible to big losses near-term. » Read More
One JPMorgan strategist believes markets could see another leg up should the health-care vote pass. » Read More
One Bank of America technical strategist says history is implying a big move up for the S&P 500. » Read More
Last week, Trump joined CNBC's "Squawk Box" to discuss a wide range of topics including U.S. debt, interest rates and replacing Fed Chair Janet Yellen. It was Trump's comments about potentially renegotiating the more than $19 trillion in U.S. debt and the sensitivity surrounding higher interest rates that raised eyebrows.
While some observers argued that Trump's approach could be tantamount to a debt default, Schiff told CNBC the GOP nominee was fundamentally correct in his observation.
"Trump just admitted on CNBC that America has too much debt to afford a rate hike, and that he wants our creditors to accept less than 100 cents on their Treasuries," the Euro Pacific Capital CEO explained on CNBC's "Futures Now" last week. "In other words, Trump knows a U.S. government default is inevitable."
Last year, the widespread belief that the Federal Reserve would tighten monetary policy unsettled markets. Recently, soft economic data and turmoil around the globe have softened expectations of a rate hike. Still, Schiff said an eventual rate hike could leave the world's largest economy exposed to a growing risk.
"If rates go up, refinancing [debt] doesn't help. The only thing that helps is restructuring," said Schiff, who compared the situation to the crisis in Puerto Rico.
The commonwealth "can't pay because they are broke, well math applies on the main land just like it applies in Puerto Rico, we can't pay either," he said. "And if interest rates go up Donald Trump is right, we have no choice than to tell our creditors they are taking a big haircut," he added.
A longstanding earnings trend is finally flipping around, and that could be very positive for stocks, according to Bespoke Investment Group founder Paul Hickey.
"Heading into this earnings season, everyone was expecting earnings just to be horrible. But what we've seen throughout the reports is that ... more and more companies exceeded expectations," Hickey said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
Over the past four weeks, more companies in the S&P 1500 have experienced positive revisions than downward revisions to earnings expectations. That's been rare in the past couple of years, and could drive stocks higher, he said.
"Seven out of 10 sectors have more analysts raising forecasts than they're lowering forecasts," Hickey said. "Granted the bar was set low, but they are more apt to raise guidance this earning season than we've seen in any other earnings season really in the last five years. That's positive from a long-term perspective."
Corporate guidance is also showing a similar trend, Hickey said.
"In their reports, we're seeing more companies raise guidance than lower guidance and we haven't seen that really happen in an earnings season in five years," he said.
Despite the stronger trend, one key group of investors is hesitant to put money to work in stocks.
"Individual investors are still very negative," said Hickey. "Overall, the tone of investor sentiment is very reticent to take on risk here. And, even in the past two weeks we've seen the market slightly decline from its highs and sentiment has come in very fast."
In this month's survey of sentiment from the American Association of Individual Investors, bullish views among individual investors dropped by 5 percent to the lowest levels since the February lows.
The notion of a stronger jobs report rattling investors has been perceived as a downside risk. There's been concern that robust results could pressure the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates sooner than anticipated and bring stock prices down. But it's not a factor that should worry investors, Hickey said.
"I think we're in this stretch where good news for the economy is going to be good news for the market because we have the Fed being so dovish," he said. "Until we see a new shift in stance from [Fed Chairman] Janet Yellen, I think good news will be good news."
The Federal Reserve surprised few last week when it keep interest rates unchanged, noting that it "continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments." However, one market watcher has a blunt message for Fed chair Janet Yellen: You're placing your hope in a fairy tale.
On a recent CNBC's "Futures Now," Lindsey Group chief market analyst Peter Boockvar made the case that the Fed will never get the "perfect" conditions they seek before increasing short-term rates once again.
The Fed's mandate "isn't to have a perfect world. That only exists in fairy tales, dreams and in your econometric models," Boockvar said in a recent note to clients. He believes that the Fed's monetary has been far too accommodative under Yellen as well as under Ben Bernanke.
Boockvar argued that the Fed has been taking cues from shaky international banks, and that doing so will always offer a reason to keep interest rates low.
There's a key trend that may be taking over the markets, and it could have a big impact on your portfolio.
"We've seen a fierce rotation out of utilities and staples and telecom and into stuff like materials and energy and financials. And, you know what? There is also a little bit of a rotation out of bonds," Robert W. Baird's Michael Antonelli said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "There is just this slow bleed out of them right now, and that's just a part of this risk allocation."
Antonelli, who sees the Fed maintaining a dovish tone in its decision on interest rates on Wednesday afternoon, is focused more on the latest quarterly earnings reports.
"They're (companies) jumping over a broomstick right now. I mean look at financials — anything they did, they ended up going up on the day. All you had to do is report anything at all and you were going to go up. Estimates have been lowered so much," said Antonelli, who believes investors will see multiple expansion stall.
He's predicting investors will see the fourth quarter in a row of negative earnings growth, even though a lot of companies have been beating those lowered Wall Street estimates.
But the picture could change quickly if this one major area of the market grabs more gains.
The Russell 2000 Index, which is up about 2 percent this year, could be the major catalyst behind a feel-good environment, according to Antonelli, Baird's managing director of institutional trading.
"You want to see that it's not just the S&P 500 that's being bought," he said. "When the Russell 2000 comes up and says, 'Hey, I'm with you guys, let's go,' then you start to feel better about the markets."
Since hitting its February low, the S&P 500 has rallied 15 percent and come within 2 percent of its all-time highs. But according to one market watcher, the top could be in for the year, if history is any guide.
Technical analyst John Kosar said that from a seasonal standpoint, Friday marks the end of peak week for stocks in the second quarter.
"Since 1957 we have April being the strongest month of the year for the S&P 500, and on average it has closed 1.5 percent higher on the month since that time," Kosar said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now." The S&P 500 is currently up 1.6 percent this month. "That tells me that we've already gone, seasonally, as high as we should," he said.
Kosar also said that the third week in April, which ends Friday, has historically tended to be the strongest week in the second quarter, averaging a return of nearly 1 percent. The S&P 500 was up half of a percent on the week as of Thursday's close.
"Clearly there are some seasonality issues going on right now," Kosar said. "It's telling me to be careful here. … This is a time for investors to tighten stops and watch the markets a little closer than they would normally do."
Perhaps even more concerning, however, is the potential for increased volatility surrounding the June Fed meeting. Kosar said that the last three weeks of June are among the weakest in the fourth quarter, seeing negative returns across the board. And while the Fed is scheduled to meet next week, it's the June meeting that investors are eyeing for the next potential rate hike.
"I'm telling clients not to put any new dollars to work here," he said.
Gold bug and perma-bear Peter Schiff has a message for all the bears out there: You are wrong!
On CNBC's "Futures Now" recently, Schiff said that Wall Street firms, and Goldman Sachs in particular, which have issued bearish calls on the commodity for some time, are too pessimistic on gold's upside. The investor insisted those firms are missing the big picture when it comes to bullion, due largely to anticipated action from the Federal Reserve that Schiff believes is unlikely to materialize.
"They are still wedded to the old narrative. They still expect the Fed to raise rates three times this year. They will believe in this phony recovery. They still expect the dollar to continue to go up and they're wrong," the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital said. Goldman "is just as sure that gold is going to collapse now as they were back in December.
When oil was trading for about $74 a barrel in late 2014, oil analyst Tom Kloza made what seemed like a crazy call: Oil would fall to $35 in the next year.
Thirteen months later, his prediction came true.
Now, with oil rallying nearly 60 percent off its Feb. 11 low, he's back with another prediction: Don't get too excited.
Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, said that despite the recent surge, oil is trapped in a tight range between $35 and $45 — even as anticipation grows over potential production cuts that could come Sunday when OPEC and non-OPEC producers meet in Doha, Qatar.
"The expectations are pretty low," said Kloza on CNBC's "Futures Now" on Wednesday. "They have no integrity in terms of compliance and in terms of maintaining cuts."
However, a CNBC survey out Friday of 23 experts found that 56 percent saw a better than 50/50 chance of a freeze agreement.
Crude oil has broken through a significant hurdle, one that may signal that low prices are officially behind us.
The WTI contract's ability to surpass its 200-day moving average on Tuesday for the first time since July 2014 is a meaningful sign, according to Amherst Pierpont strategist Robert Sinche.
"We had a double bottom in oil back in February. We've had a good rally. It stopped a couple of times around this 200-day moving average. This could be the breakout," Sinche said on CNBC's "Futures Now.
The move comes ahead of a Sunday oil producers meeting in Doha, Qatar. The big hope for oil bulls is that the major producers will agree to freeze output at current levels.
If you're looking for a safe place to put your money, then you might want to stay away from the U.S., one market watcher told CNBC recently.
Mark Eibel of Russell Investments told CNBC's "Futures Now" that muted earnings growth, uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's monetary policy and a chaotic political landscape will continue to drive volatility in U.S. equities throughout the end of the year.
"The U.S. just bounces around and really if you go back to 2015 it's been a lot of churn to get to almost the same spot," Eibel said. "We think there would be continued volatility and the potential for upside exists outside of the U.S., particularly in Europe," he added.
The analyst's warning comes as Wall Street is growing more pessimistic about growth prospects and the outlook for earnings. Economists have steadily whittled down their estimates for the first quarter of 2016, which is barely expected to register any growth at all.
Investors are eyeing next week's big meeting among oil producing nations as the next big catalyst for oil, but according to one market watcher, the gathering may not have as much of an impact on prices as most people think.
On CNBC's "Futures Now," BMO Private Bank CIO Jack Ablin explained that investors should instead look to another commodity for clues on where oil could go next.
"One of the things that fundamentally weigh against oil is natural gas," said Ablin. According to Ablin, when the difference between the cost of oil and natural gas increases, it often signals an inflection point for the two commodities.
"If the spread is wide, it encourages transportation companies to make that switch from [diesel into natural gas], he said. Right now, natural gas is trading at the equivalent of $12.50 a barrel. I don't see how oil can get substantially above $40 with natural gas trading that low."
On Tuesday, natural gas rose over 5 percent to hit highs dating to early February. Additionally, AAA reported that gas prices began April at the cheapest levels since 2009.
If current demand levels remain as is, Ablin anticipates that natural gas prices will stay low heading into summer thanks to the relatively mild winter.
"I think the seasonal factor for natural gas is the winter, [which was ultimately] a big letdown," said Ablin.
However, he cautioned against the bearish case for natural gas prices by noting the potential for renewed global demand from countries like Europe and Asia.
"To the extent we can get more of a global price for natural gas, we could see those prices rise. Anything that can break the stranglehold that Russia has on [European energy] will be welcome by [international] customers."
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