Closing Bell

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Closing Bell

Market Vulnerable Despite Strong Economic Data


Brian Gendreau, investment strategist for ING Investment Management, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that he sees moderate economic growth and moderating inflation ahead, but he warned that the market remains vulnerable.

“We’re getting very strong economic data,” Gendreau said. “Today’s reports are about as good as they get, and core inflation came down into the Fed’s comfort zone.”

Second Wind for Wall St.?

He said corporate buybacks, private equity deals, higher dividends and M&A activity are all supporting stocks.

About half the revenue of the 30 Dow components is earned overseas, and that strength won’t change in the future, Gendreau said.

“We like the fundamentals for the market,” Gendreau said. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the market ends the year higher than it is today. The earnings picture is still pretty good –- the consensus is even looking for a pickup in earnings growth to a double-digit pace in 2008.”

But he urged caution.

“The S&P is way above its moving 200-day average, margin debt is at an all-time high, and available cash is the lowest it’s been since November 2000,” Gendreau said. “So, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some sort of correction. Maybe 'correction' is too big a word -– maybe some sort of downdraft like we had in February. (I) think there’s a lot of vulnerability in the market.”