'Considerable opportunity' for profit taking: Pros
With the market trading near all-time highs and Washington giving investors reason to worry, some market pros are expecting a near-term pullback that could see the S&P 500 drop as much as 6 percent.
In a CNBC interview Monday, John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer, said that with the market still uncertain about the timing of the Federal Reserve's plans to taper asset purchases, there is a "considerable opportunity for profit taking."
Appearing on "Squawk Box," he said that since the market has rallied strongly from its 2012 lows and earnings have shown strength, now is a good time to trim back some positions. However, he said, there is nothing fundamental that would necessitate a selloff, simply taking advantage of short-term market highs.
"We do expect that at any time, the market could easily be prone to a 4-6 percent pullback here. A lot of that is people looking to lock in profits," Stoltzfus said. "The overall look ahead tells us that things are getting better … the market is telling us 'pause to ponder' here, but the direction remains higher, if modestly so, by the end of the year."
"People hate the fact that the market is up so much," Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisades Capital Management, told CNBC. "This market is not only disrespected, it's despised."
Veru said although the market is operating with a backdrop of uncertain fiscal policy and controversial monetary policy, with every minor pullback "the bears come flying out of the woodwork right away," as if they expect these moves are the beginning of something "very, very big and very, very bad."
Instead, Veru said that small pullbacks are simply "a pause in the context of a market that has done extremely well." He suggested that in this environment, investors should be identifying stocks they like and look for opportunities to buy on pullbacks.
Two stocks that Veru likes as long-term investments are the railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming and domestic gas and oil exploration company Bill Barrett Corp., both of which have a long term positive view at his firm.