Stocks Headed Higher, There's Nowhere Else to Go: Pros
Climbing interest rates won't necessarily kill the equity market, market pros say, instead, the fundamentals support a move higher for stocks, and in a Fed-driven environment there is nowhere else to put your money.
"A rise in rates is not the end of the equity market. It's the beginning of the second leg of this bull market that we're seeing," David Seaburg, head of sales and trading at Cowen & Company, said on "Squawk on the Street" Friday. "When rates go up, the market is going to catch there. People are really underestimating that."
"The market is very forward-looking. I think the market is looking ahead six months and saying that we're going to be in a very different place," he said.
Seaburg explained that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took a "major overhang off this market" and reduced the uncertainty for investors moving forward, giving them more clarity on Fed policy through the end of the year. "There is short-term pain, but long-term gain."
"They are not pulling the rug out right now. They have made it very clear that they are extremely data-dependent. They are expecting the economy to be strong enough," Seaburg said.
"I believe this economy is absolutely powerful enough to support" a move higher, added David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. "We are babying, overmedicating this economy. This economy is like a 12-year-old sitting on a tricycle with training wheels. It can cycle forward on its own."
"Laying out a timetable reduces uncertainty, it doesn't increase it," he said. "The main thing is the economy is OK. We have to not be so scared to believe that the economy can only flourish when we have zero interest rates. That's not true. It's much healthier for the economy to take this medication away."
Kelly points out that Bernanke will be testifying in front of Congress this summer, which will offer investors more clarity on Fed policy. However, he said that market participants are too focused on near-term equity trading, instead of investing in equities for the longer term.
"I don't think you can time the market on various Fed statements," he said.
Seaburg asked: "Where are you going to put your money right now? In cash? I don't think so. Are you going to put it In the 30-year? I don't want that duration risk. I'm going to put it in equities. It's the only place right now to put your money."