What the Pros Are Saying About the Market's Rally
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average at all-time highs, the big question many people have is: Is it too late to get in?
On Tuesday, the Dow hit an all-time intraday high of 14,286, surpassing its previous best in October 2007. The blue-chip index finished slightly lower than that level, but still at an all-time record high close. The S&P 500 Index is also in shouting distance of its own all-time closing high, set in October 2007.
CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday asked Wall Street pros to weigh in with their views on where the stock market goes from here. This is what they had to say:
"I'm just going to keep an eye on flows, if we have a lot people in cash. Our own firm, we added stocks in January. Not because we had too much cash, we felt we had too much high-yield debt and it was getting too rich. So if you get people switching out of cash, out of some other instruments that maybe had more yield and don't have it today. As long as the fundamentals don't deteriorate rapidly or we have a shock. That alone is going to get us going."
—Rebecca Patterson, Bessemer Trust Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer
"The good thing is if you missed the rally yesterday, I still think we have a little bit more to go. I certainly think 1,550 will be a number the market will talk about testing. It seems to me that a lot of money is still trying to find a home. As corporate bond spreads tighten, as high yield tightens, as people search for yield, whether we like it or not, people are investors and their money has to go earn the best possible return that it can at that time. And right now that continues to be equities."
—Tim Freeman, Elevation Principal
"It's largely a question of confidence. Getting people to come in. Getting more money. For people whose memory of the market is the last dozen years — from 2000, from when tech stocks collapsed — they're probably going to be scared for another 10 or 12 years. But for people whose memory of the markets starts at about August of 1982, at the bottom of the bottom, and interest rates were about 14 to 15 percent. They're still euphoric this morning."
—David Blitzer, Standard & Poor's Managing Director and Chairman of the S&P 500 Index Committee
"[Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke is one of the wizards behind this movie called 'Dow: The Great and Powerful.' If you look behind the curtain, we've gotten here on different names than … at the prior peak. No AIG, no Citigroup, no GM, it's a different mix of horses … But I'm still in the camp that we're in a volatile, range-bound year and investors shouldn't be focused on the direction of the market after this new high, but the volatility that's likely to come."
—Jeffrey Kleintop, LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist
"Staples and healthcare [are] the two best [sector] performers this year. That for me is the part of the stock market that's in the sweet spot of Fed policy. The high-dividend payers. That's where the money flows are going. And that'll probably continue to work even through what I'd expect to be a growth-related pullback as we get into the second quarter … I think you just stick with stocks with bond-like characteristics. The high-dividend payers for now, because they'll work in a pullback and they're working in the uptrend."
—Barry Knapp, Barclays Head of U.S. Equity Portfolio Strategy