Bad Time for Bears Despite Fiscal Cliff: Money Manager
Assistant News Editor, CNBC.com
It's a good time to be a an investor despite global economic uncertainty and the "fiscal cliff," Michael Crofton, president and CEO of Philadelphia Trust Company, told CNBC.
Crofton said recent earnings misses and worries about the "fiscal cliff" (automatic spending cuts and the expiry of bush era tax cuts), the euro zone debt crisis and a hard landing for China had helped lower stock valuations, making it a good time for investors to exploit the market uncertainty.
"If those things don't come to fruition, valuations are cheap, they've got cheaper because of some of these earnings misses (link) and it's probably a great time to get investing if you have a long-term horizon," he said.
According to Crofton, as long as Europe, China and the U.S. economies hadn't completely collapsed and the markets remained buoyant (the Dow is up 9 percent, the NASDAQ is up 15 percent and the S&P 500 is up 14 percent for the year) it was a bad time to be a bear.
"If you're a bear, you're in a lot of trouble. I don't think they're going to be able to make up the ground they've lost [this year].
However, Crofton didn't believe the "fiscal cliff" would be reached at the start of 2013 if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the election on November 6.
"I don't think the fiscal cliff is going to happen," he said. "I think Monday's debate was really interesting and Romney has really begun to close the gap in the polls…I think this market would really welcome a Romney victory and would have a significant rally based on that," Crofton told CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange" on Tuesday.
Crofton said that the U.S. election would drive market sentiment for the next few weeks, with an Obama victory having a lesser impact on markets than a Romney win.
"If Obama gets re-elected I don't think the market will sell-off but I don't think it will do much…the real concern for this market is the 'fiscal cliff' and all indications are that they're (Congress) going to negotiate their way out of that and probably postpone decisions on that until the middle of next year."
On the contrary, Crofton believed that a Romney win would be "very, very positive for the market."
"Businesses are waiting, industrial production has been a little bit slow, corporations have been slow to buy new equipment and hire new people because they're not sure what kind of regulatory environment they're going to have to deal with next year," he said.
"I think business confidence would certainly be boosted by a Romney victory and I think that translates into a better market."