One top RBC strategist says OPEC will have to dig deeper to solve crude oil's oversupply problems. » Read More
One strategist says the markets will grind higher this year, but only if the biggest "enemy" to the market doesn't materialize. » Read More
Ralph Acampora, also known as the godfather of technical analysis, says a pause in the rally is coming. » Read More
The Northman Trader Sven Henrich is back, and he's got two charts that show a pullback could be coming for the market. » Read More
"The U.S. has run a deficit for [so long]," he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "The conditions today are more fragile than they were ever before, and unless somebody comes and introduces minus 5 percent interest rates, I think the economy is really not in such a great shape."
"I'm actually amazed that people are so optimistic," the editor and publisher of the "Gloom, Boom & Doom Report" added.
Faber had previously appeared on CNBC calling for a giant correction of as much as 40 percent in the market. His bold calls have led various analysts and traders to question his market predictions.
Nevertheless, Faber does see ways for investors to play global markets despite his view that the U.S. economic outlook is poor. In addition to emerging markets, India in particular, Faber says that Europe is a good investment.
"I would rather build up cash positions and eventually invest in the euro," said Faber. "I think the euro is attractive and fairly priced. I think European stocks are also relatively attractive."
Regarding individual sectors, Faber encourages investors to look at interest rate sensitive stocks and infrastructure plays. REITs will also "do relatively well," he added, as well as consumer staples stocks, which have rallied almost 8 percent year to date.
And while technology stocks have been the best-performing group under the Trump presidency, Faber actually warns that "tech is very uncertain," and investors should be cautious when looking at the sector.
Marc Faber is known for his dire market predictions, but after years of calling for a correction that has yet to happen, the so-called Dr. Doom found himself under fire from a "Futures Now" trader.
In a heated exchange Tuesday on CNBC, trader Scott Nations pressed the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report publisher over his dismal forecast for stocks.
"You've been saying the same thing essentially since 2012 and have been consistently wrong," said a frustrated Nations. He pointed out that on Tuesday, the Russell 2000 hit an intraday high and the Nasdaq composite reached an intraday and closing high. The Dow and S&P 500 came within points of their respective records.
"If someone piled into stocks in 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015 they've done pretty well. Why were you so wrong then, and why should we think you're so right now?" Nations asked.
Faber defended his call saying, "I warned of a correction in 2012 and we had one." A correction is defined as a move of 10 percent or more from peak to trough, and in April 2012 through June 2012, the S&P 500 fell more than 11 percent.
"I tell you when all is over people will love me for having warned them to have all their money in stocks," added Faber. "I'm used to people like you who always attack me."
Still, Nations wasn't convinced and he pointed out that over the last five years as Faber has called for a market crash U.S. equities are up 75 percent. "I'm asking a simple question, 'what about your analysis was wrong [from the last five years] that leads you to believe you're more informed now?'"
The perma-bear responded by saying that the market is "far higher" and the eight-year bull market has gotten long in the tooth. "I also have to correct one point you're making. In 2007 and 2012, I was relatively positive about bonds and I argued that emerging markets would go up strongly," he said. "Some emerging markets have gone up vertically and bonds have actually performed quite well."
Indeed, the TLT long-dated Treasury ETF is up more than 40 percent in the last 10 years,
"You're accusing me of being wrong? I laugh at it," Faber concluded.
Geopolitical uncertainty and gridlock in Washington could spark a pullback in the markets, but one strategist is recommending a way to beat the market regardless of what happens on the Hill.
On CNBC's "Futures Now" last week, CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall laid out his "winning investment approach" for trading equities year-round. As April winds down and markets head into the old "sell in May and go away" adage, Stovall advised that investors should actually rotate, rather than get out of, the market amid doubts about President Donald Trump's policy agenda.
"You are better off rotating than retreating," he said. "Basically, like whitewater rafting, you let the market take you where it needs to go and in the summertime, it traditionally wants to go defensive."
As an example, Stovall suggests that if an investor had been in the market from November through to the end of April, they could rotate into a 50 percent exposure to consumer staples and a 50 percent exposure in health care, which they would then hold until October.
This strategy would have investors coming out of the more cyclical sectors such as financials and materials, which investors could then go back into once the cycle begins again.
This "six month defensive, six month cyclical" approach could be especially useful for investors if the so-called Trump rally were to come to a halt.
"What we've been experiencing right now is the Trump hype, and I think what we're worried about is it morphing into the Trump gripe," said Stovall. "Investors are basically excited, but nothing is really coming through."
Stovall referred specifically to the failure of Trump's health care reform plans, taken off the table before even a House vote could occur, and the uncertainty facing the tax reform and infrastructure policies that he had campaigned on.
The strategist believes that if Trump's plans remain in limbo on the Hill into 2018, the standstill "could probably trigger a correction of 10 to 20 percent" in the market. But if that were to occur, a rotation into the defensive sectors could help investors during the pullback, as "it's the defensive sectors that tend to lose less when the market itself goes down."
Markets continued to hover near all-time highs on Friday, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average did recover from back to back triple digit losses during the week. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high on Thursday.
Peter Schiff is known for making bold and controversial calls about the markets. Yet in a recent interview with CNBC's "Futures Now," his alarmist rhetoric had trader Scott Nations crying foul.
In the heated showdown, the NationsShares president interrupted Schiff as he defended his past predictions about the Federal Reserve, and said the U.S. economy has "been in a recession for this entire recovery." Schiff is a relentless critic of Fed policy, and for years has suggested the U.S. dollar was on the verge of an outright crash, encouraging investors to buy bullion.
"You can't have your own facts!" said Nations on CNBC last week. "You said in 2015 the Fed wouldn't raise rates and that QE4 was next," Nations said, referring to a fourth round of massive quantitative easing by the Fed. He added that Schiff has been "fundamentally wrong."
Schiff has long maintained that the Fed cannot continue to raise interest rates without sparking a major market crash, and urged investors to instead buy gold. That made Nations accuse him of trying to "scare" investors into buying the commodity for his own benefits.
"I recommend what I think is going to make investors money. Gold is outperforming the U.S. stock market this year by triple," the Euro Pacific Capital CEO responded. "Buying gold and having gold in your portfolio has been a wise choice for investors."
In 2013 Schiff notoriously called for gold to hit $5,000 per ounce, a prediction that hasn't quite panned out with gold only trading near $1,300.
Nevertheless, Schiff reiterated his faith in his market predictions, especially his call that the economic outlook is problematic.
"Even [former Fed chairman] Alan Greenspan is forecasting stagflation, and he ought to know because he wrote the playbook that Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen are following," said Schiff.
"You can make fun of me, you can tell all the jokes you want, but I'm going to be laughing all the way to the bank," he retorted to end the debate.
When it comes to stocks over the next few months, one strategist is telling investors to look beyond the Trump administration and at the market's fundamentals instead.
The so-called "Trump rally" has seemed to cool off as stocks sit near all-time highs, but have generally traded in a range since the end of February. On that note, Eaton Vance's chief equity investment officer, Eddie Perkin, told CNBC that if investors look even deeper, the Trump rally may not be because of President Donald Trump after all.
"If we look at how the markets performed in the first quarter of the year, the stock market overall was very strong and I think a lot of people are attributing that to the Trump rally," Perkin said last week on CNBC's "Futures Now."
However, "if you look at the underlying stocks and sectors that worked, it was actually the stocks that had lagged previously," he added.
Following the November election, investors had their eyes on a variety of sectors that they believed would benefit under Trump's pro-business and deregulation-based policies. Financials and materials, for example, were two of the hottest "Trump trades" in the first few months out of the election.
Yet now, financials have slumped and are sitting almost flat from the start of the year, and materials have actually faded away from their year to date highs and are trading sideways. Instead, technology and health care have become two of the best-performing sectors.
A '2018 story'
Health care, which has been in the spotlight due to stalled repeal and replace in Washington, is up over 7 percent year to date. Meanwhile tech has rallied nearly 12 percent in 2017. Tech stocks were expected to come under pressure as Trump aimed to target the H-1B visa hiring tool. T
he surge in both these groups leads Perkin to point out that the supposed Trump trades are not what have been driving the market this year.
So what should investors be looking at to get a read on the market? Perkin actually believes that earnings growth will be the biggest factor moving stocks and will set the markets up for the "2018 story." Analysts are predicting a second quarter straight of improved earnings, with Thomson Reuters IBES saying that if all earnings meet estimates, the S&P 500 Index would see 10 percent growth.
"I think the bull case for stocks is you've got a bit of earnings growth this year, and then you've got an inflection upward in 2018," said Perkin. "If that doesn't come through, then I'm a little reluctant to bet on further multiple expansion from here."
Perkin does believe, however, that should the Trump administration manage to pass a tax reform bill, then the markets will likely head higher off the news.
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A pause in the rally could be coming, says one strategist, who adds that this downturn could be a prime buying opportunity for investors.
Other analysts on Wall Street have called for more market volatility in the coming months thanks to political uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe. However, Stephen Parker, head of thematic solutions at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, believes investors shouldn't panic.
"What we're telling clients is, 'be patient right now,'" he said last week on CNBC's "Futures Now."He added: "We may see some volatility, but if you do see a pullback in markets, that's more an opportunity to buy than a reason to think that this rally is over."
According to Parker, while pro-business policy out of Washington could drive stocks higher, the bull case ultimately hinges on what he sees as improving global growth, and the potential for stronger earnings for the rest of the year.
"You're starting to see that translate into a positive momentum on the earnings front," Parker explained, adding that the move was bigger than the "secular growth" sectors like technology and health care.
Those "have led over recent years, but really the more cyclical parts of the market like banks and energy," are also showing strength, he added.
These same cyclical sectors, said Parker, are "really leveraged to an improving U.S. and global growth story" and will ultimately provide "tailwinds" for markets to move higher regardless of what happens in D.C.
This means that while investors may be looking for the trade and tax policies promised by Trump in his presidential campaign, Parker actually sees market fundamentals as the lead cause for why stocks will "grind higher" this year.
Markets did sell off last week as a result of Trump's failed health care bill, but all three major indexes had regained those losses by the end of the week.
Parker sees the S&P 500 Index running up another 3 percent higher by year-end, though he stresses that that's only the "base case" for stocks, with policy changes and stronger market fundamentals potentially driving stocks even higher.
Gold may be struggling to return to its year to date highs, but one trader says it's time for investors to get back into the once-hot trade.
On Friday, the yellow metal traded at its lowest level in more than a week, and remains below its 2016 high. However, it finished the first quarter up by more than 8 percent, its best quarterly showing in a year.
Todd Colvin of Ambrosino Brothers says that macro concerns are keeping him a "gold buyer and holder," including a Federal Reserve embarking on a campaign to tighten monetary policy.
"It's not just U.S. growth, it's Fed policy, it's U.S. fiscal policy, it's European elections," he said this week on CNBC's "Futures Now." Colvin added that there are "a lot of things out there that are going to keep gold bid until we get [a more stable macroeconomic outlook]."
Colvin is especially focused on the Federal Reserve's actions for the rest of the year. While the Fed has declared that up to three rate hikes are possible this year, Colvin thinks the Fed is actually facing a lot of market uncertainty that they may not be prepared for.
"I think the Fed right now is still seeing the economic and policy as glass half full without any real evidence," explained the trader. "They need to get those hard data evidence numbers in, and they need to get through some of these cloudy events coming up like the French elections and more FOMC meetings in order to see where policy is really going to go."
If the Fed hikes fewer times than expected, that would be a bullish catalyst for gold, since the metal generally moves inversely to interest rates.
Meanwhile, the metal's strong Q1 performance bodes well for the upcoming quarter: Since 1990, gold has gained at least 6 percent in the first quarter of the year on 6 occasions, according to Kensho data. In the following quarter of those years, bullion trended higher 83 percent of the time, with a median return of 3.30 percent.
Should stocks run into trouble, gold's safe-haven appeal could give it another reason to rally.
"Gold is a safe place to go," Colvin said.
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