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Investors Should Expect a US Downgrade: JPMorgan Strategist

As the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the country's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling approaches, investors should expect a downgrade—although it will probably only have a minor impact, said Thomas Lee, JPMorgan's chief U.S. equity strategist.

Of the sovereign states that have been placed on ratings watches, 58 percent of these were subsequently downgraded, he said.

Because of this potential downgrade, policymakers appear to be losing credibility in the minds of equity investors, Lee said.

"I almost think what's happening is investors are starting to trust companies more than they are trusting governments," he said.

As state and local governments cut back on their spending, the corporate share of the U.S.' GDP is on the rise. In the second quarter, companies grew revenues five times faster than the broader economy.

After the Aug. 2 deadline has passed, Lee said he expects a "beta chase," in which investors return their money to markets. He also predicts a potential move of the S&P 500 toward 1400, an increase that he thinks will be fueled by industrials, basic materials, energy and tech.

In a June 11 appearance on CNBC, Lee predicted the stock market would rally during the summer and that economic data would start turning upward, beginning in July.

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Disclosures:
Disclosure information was not available for Thomas Lee or his company.

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