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JPMorgan Analyst Sees ‘Mis-Reaction’ to Earnings

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 12:56 PM ET

Companies are being cautious due to uncertainty, spurring a "mis-reaction" to earnings, JPMorgan Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Tom Lee said Tuesday on CNBC.

"I think that there's also somewhat of a mis-reaction to earnings," he said on "Fast Money."

"I know we're going through the midst of a really big soft patch right here, and China and European economic data is not great, but you have to remember, I think this is showing you companies are cautious," he added.

JPMorgan Analyst Sees 'Mis-Reaction' to Earnings
Companies are being cautious due to uncertainty, and the stock market might be reacting erroneously, JPMorgan Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Tom Lee says.

Lee looked to balance sheets for an important factor.

(Read More: Next 10 Days Could Signal S&P 2012 High: Pro)

"You can really see it in their cash balances," he said. "In the quarter, for instance, cash balances have grown 14 percent year over year. It's a record level now. We're probably going to end the quarter with the largest cash balances in history."

Lee said that companies had been taking inventories down ahead of the "fiscal cliff," which would trigger automatic federal spending cuts in January.

The market would not lose the Federal Reserve "put," he added.

(Read More: Stocks Face 'More Selling Pressure': Joe Terranova)

Lee's year-end target for the S&P was 1,430. He urged holding blue-chip stocks, such as Apple, Starbucks and American Tower.

Brian Kelly of Shelter Harbor Capital was less certain about the market, not buying that any Fed action was a foregone conclusion.

"I'm just saying, given the information I have now, I'd be a little more cautious," he said.

Written by Bruno J. Navarro, CNBC.com Producer.

Trader disclosure: On Oct. 23, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Joe Terranova is long TRV; Joe Terranova is long VZ; Joe Terranova is long XOM; Joe Terranova is long CVX; Joe Terranova is long GS; Joe Terranova is long GLW; Brian Kelly is long GLD; Brian Kelly is long SMH; Brian Kelly is long SLV; Brian Kelly is long SPY PUTS; Brian Kelly is short XLF; Brian Kelly is short EWW; Brian Kelly is short EWA; Brian Kelly is short XLV; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long XBI;

For Martin Pyykkonen
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