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Kass: Don’t Get Caught Up In Optimism

Thursday, 5 Aug 2010 | 6:34 PM ET

Concerns that too few jobs are being created here in the US are starting to weigh down the S&P which is now barely clinging to positive territory for the year.

Considering the trend may signal lackluster growth in the back half of 2010, can the market continue to climb?

For insights we turned to widely followed strategist Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners. (The man who called the bottom in March of 2009 and said in July of 2010 that the market had made its lows for the year. He made that call on Fast Money.)

"I’m still slightly net long," Kass tells the desk. "But I wouldn’t be caught up in the optimism that’s surrounding the sharp ramp in stocks over the past 5 or 6 weeks."

Kass doesn't seem to think that meaningful gains are in the market's future - at least not the near future. Instead, he suggests the best bullish investors can hope for is a pause.

”It seems the ambiguity of the economic soft patch is growing daily," Kass explains. "It’s being reinforced with factory orders, pending home sales, and of course same store stales.”

In fact, Kass believes a sharp move lower may well be in the cards.

”I’m concerned that as we move away from the jobs report that a reduction in inventories -- and other economic releases -- points to a second quarter revision in GDP to under 2%.”

Bull Market or BS
Will the jobs report knock the economy back down, with Doug Kass, Seabreeze Partners Management.

GDP under 2% may be a key downward catalyst.

Based on history, the threshold at which the ‘worry’ about the economy turns into actually reality is 2% GDP. (Don Rissmiller at Strategas Research recently turned a spotlight on that thesis and -- if you're a regular reader -- you might remember that Fast Money EP John Melloy wrote about a few days back . Clickhere for that.)

It seems Doug Kass shares Rissmiller's view.

”I think that’s going to scare people and the economic outlook into the second half of 2010 looks increasingly uncertain. I’d be de-risking.”

And that brings us back to that all important call he made on Fast Money in early July – the one in which he said the market had made its lows for the year.

Kass stands by that.

”I don’t think the low of July 1 will be revisited in the months ahead the hyperbole surrounding the double dip in the economy has abated.”

What do you think? Tell us now.




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Trader disclosure: On Aug 5, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Seymour owns (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (GOOG), (INTC), (MOS), (POT); Terranova owns (AKAM), (APA), (BAX), (C), (COP), (EMC), (FCX), (GOOG), (GS), (JNPR), (MOS), (MSFT), (PFE), (POT), (SKX), (SU), (TER), (XBI); Finerman owns (AAPL); Finerman's firm owns (ARM); Finerman’s firm owns (BBY); Finerman's firm owns (LEA); Finerman’s firm owns (KFT); Finerman & Finerman's firm owns (RIMM); Finerman’s firm owns (TSX); Finerman’s firm owns (GYMB); Finerman’s firm owns (PLCE); Finerman's firm owns (WMT); Finerman's firm owns (DAN); Finerman's firm is short (IJR); Finerman's firm is short (MDY); Finerman's firm is short (SPY); Finerman's firm is short (IWM); Finerman’s firm owns S&P 500 puts; Finerman’s firm owns Russell 2000 puts

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