Best ideas for a bumpy market: Strategist
Two markets outside the United States and certain sectors should stand out in the short-term volatility that lays ahead, BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich said Monday.
"We think the long-term direction of equities is up," he said. "This is more of a short-term issue, but there are things investors should be aware of."
On CNBC's "Fast Money," Koesterich said that several potential headwinds were brewing.
"In September, in addition to the Fed, you've got a very strong, negative seasonal bias," he noted, adding that there was some headline risk in the German elections and the looming federal debt ceiling budget battle in Washington.
"I think it's really a matter of bringing up underweight allocations to international markets," he added. "The U.S. has done phenomenally well year to date. We still like the U.S. market. But the truth is, many investors, particularly after the last six or seven months, are very underweight international equities."
Japan was particularly attractive because of the economic structural reforms that were expected, he said.
Koesterich said that he expected to see the CBOE Volatility Index rise in the near term to the 15 or 16 level, which, he noted, was still below average. Longer term, the VIX would likely settle "in the high teens or low 20s."
Domestically, Koesterich said that certain areas of energy, technology and manufacturing held promise.
Manufacturing, specifically, would see a boost from lower energy prices, he added.
"We're seeing, as everyone knows, a renaissance in U.S. energy production," Koesterich said. "U.S. oil production last year was up by a million barrels. That was the most we've seen as a yearly increase since 1859.
"There are a lot of parts of the manufacturing sector that benefit from that — petrochemical manufacturers, fertilizers, plastics. These are all companies and parts of the manufacturing sector that benefit from very cheap energy."