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Time to move into cash, strategist says

Stock market volatility could make cash the best bet for the next few weeks, ConvergEx Chief Market Strategist Nick Colas said Thursday.

But what would it take to make him bullish on the market?

"I think you want to see, first of all, the fixed-income market kind of thresh out where it thinks the 10-year should be," he said. "Is that 2.70, 2.80, 2.90 or 3.25? We just don't know yet."

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Colas said that money was coming out of fixed income but not moving into equities just yet.

"Right now what we're seeing on our desk is a bit of a buyers' strike," he said. "It seems like that money's going into cash."

(Read more: Stocks still the best investment: Strategist)

Colas said it appeared that investors were sitting out the market and waiting for an entry point.

"There's no panicky selling going on in this market, those scary number notwithstanding. It just isn't coming in yet," he added. "And I think there has to be some confidence that we see some volatility reduction in fixed income before that money says, 'OK, pretty cool for equities. Fifteen times earnings is OK. And $122 for earnings next year is a good recipe.' We're not there yet."

Colas said that for the near-term, the stock market was headed lower.

"I really do see more volatility coming near-term," he added.

(Read more: Stocks get 'Wile E. Coyote' moment)

Asked if he thought that investors should move into cash, Colas answered: "Absolutely."

Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group said there could be some merit in moving to cash.

"I think there is going to be low volume, so we are going to see volatility," he said. "But the fact is we're going to see volatility on the upside and the downside."

(Read more: Top 4 'diamond in the rough' stocks)

Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso said moving to cash held little appeal.

"If you want to trim, trim," he said. "But you're talking about a month here. I think it's a little silly."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.

— CNBC's Michael Newberg contributed research to this report. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeNewberg.

Trader disclosure: On Aug. 15, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Steve Grasso is funds long FCX; Steve Grasso is funds long F; Steve Grasso is funds long MU; Steve Grasso is long BA; Steve Grasso is long BAC; Steve Grasso is long BBRY; Steve Grasso is long GDX; Steve Grasso is long GOOG; Steve Grasso is long HERO; Steve Grasso is long HPQ; Steve Grasso is long MHY; Steve Grasso is long LNG; Steve Grasso is long MJNA; Steve Grasso is long NVIV; Steve Grasso is long PFE; Steve Grasso is long QCOM; Steve Grasso is long S; Steve Grasso is long ASTM; Steve Grasso is long POT; Steve Grasso is long DECK; Brian Kelly is long US dollar; Brian Kelly is short Yen Bonds; Paul Hickey is long AAPL; Paul Hickey is long BAC; Paul Hickey is long GNRC; Paul Hickey is long INTC; Paul Hickey is long CSCO; Paul Hickey is long FB; Paul Hickey is long GOOG; Paul Hickey is long NFLX; Paul Hickey is short CAT; Paul Hickey is short IBM; Paul Hickey is short BRK/b; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long C; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long M; Karen Finerman is long SPY; Karen Finerman is long MDY PUTS.

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