US stocks have hit bottom but the economy remains fragile, two experts told CNBC.
“We’re five months into the bottoming process,” said Robert Doll, Vice Chairman of Black Rock. “I think we’ve seen the bottom, but we’ve not solved all our problems… The stock markets bottom first, the overall economy second, and unemployment is a lagging indicator—it will bottom way down the line. We can’t get too ahead of ourselves.”
In the same live interview, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross sid stabilization of banking and the real estate markets will be crucial to seeing a major turning point in the economy.
Ross said he is optimistic about the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) program that the Treasury Department recently introduced to help banks rid themselves of loans that hurt their operations and capital.
“I’m optimistic that [the PPIP program] will work big time, provided government makes the banks sell at realistic prices, because I don’t believe that they will if they aren’t pushed to do so by the regulators.”
In the meantime, Doll recommended investors take advantage of the markets if they have been putting any money in during the bottoming process.
“If you’ve not put anything in during this bottoming process, then for sure you’ve got to put some in because the bias is to the upside,” he said. “But if you’ve been buying all along, I don’t think you have to be a hero and jump in because you can wait for a pullback…My guess is that we’re going to get some churning in these levels that these higher prices as we sort through the first quarter earnings.”