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Stock Pullback Isn't Inevitable: Tom Lee

Monday, 1 Apr 2013 | 5:32 PM ET
Data May Not Signal Pullback: Tom Lee
Monday, 1 Apr 2013 | 5:04 PM ET
If U.S. economic data doesn't weaken meaningfully, investors might have to give up on the idea a correction is inevitable, Tom Lee of JPMorgan says.

If U.S. economic data doesn't seriously disappoint, investors might have to give up on the idea a correction is inevitable, JPMorgan Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Tom Lee said Monday on CNBC.

"It is a consensus call," he said of the common refrain on Wall Street that the bull market is headed for a significant decline.

"I think that data needs to weaken, and if it doesn't weaken meaningfully, we're going to have to give up on the idea that there's a deeper pullback coming," he said.

On "Fast Money," Lee said that positive job growth could provide a tell on where stocks are headed.

"That might be one of our pivot points because, you know, if it comes in weak and the market takes it in stride, it tells us the market's looking through the wiggle and looking at the longer term, and maybe there isn't a correction," he said.

Looking at a stock market chart depicting the shift in 2012 from the first to the second quarter, Lee noted that the worst stocks were down 15 percent, while the best stocks were up 19 percent.

"And you saw in the second quarter, it completely reversed," he noted.

"Now, if I had to think about why that would happen today, I think it's because if the U.S. data in fact is strengthening, people will start to be more comfortable owning the cyclicals rather than defensives, and that sort of leads that reversion trade in Q2."

Trader disclosure: On April 1, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Steve Grasso is long AAPL; Steve Grasso is long ASTM; Steve Grasso is long BA; Steve Grasso is long BAC; Steve Grasso is long GOOG; Steve Grasso is long GDX; Steve Grasso is long HPQ; Steve Grasso is long LF; Steve Grasso is long LNG; Steve Grasso is long MHY; Steve Grasso is long MU ; Steve Grasso is long PXD; Steve Grasso is long NVIV; Steve Grasso is long PFE; Steve Grasso is long S; Steve Grasso is long VLO; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short IWM; Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long BBRY; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT; Pete Najarian is long AMZN CALLS; Pete Najarian is long OKE CALLS; Pete Najarian is long PFE; Pete Najarian is long MRK; Pete Najarian is long BMY.

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  • Melissa Lee is the host of CNBC's “Fast Money” and “Options Action.”

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