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A modest uptick for wages in the United States is not going to jolt the Federal Reserve into raising interest rates sooner than expected, according to Dennis Gartman, the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, who has turned moderately bullish on U.S. stocks.
"Let's not be panicked at this point," he told CNBC Monday after a global rout last week saw the suffer its worst weekly drop in more than two years.
"The market got a bit ahead of itself...I'm going to turn back to being bullish again," he added, predicting that the S&P would not fall lower than 1,860 points in the near term. He would "aggressively buy stocks" if it fell close to the 1,875 point level. On Friday, the U.S. benchmark closed the week at 1,925 points.
Market sentiment took a beating last week after a culmination of geopolitical tensions, Argentinian defaults and heightening speculation on Federal Reserve monetary policy tightening conspired to curb appetite. The Dow's 2.8 percent decline in the past week managed to erase gains recorded for the year and the CBOE's volatility index (VIX), used as a gauge of fear in U.S. markets, jumped 34 percent for the week.
Gartman believed that hawkish comments from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher were the main catalyst for the "depressed" feeling in U.S. markets. On Friday, Fisher told CNBC that, in his view, the date for interest rate "liftoff" had been moved forward. He also added that more officials at the central bank were beginning to "digest his views."
Gartman added that the negative sentiment was accentuated by a payrolls number on Friday that was narrowly below expectations and a belief that wages in the country are picking back up. A pick up in wages could potentially lead to inflationary pressures which in turn could force a central bank to tighten policy sooner than expected.
David Bloom, HSBC's global head of foreign exchange strategy, told CNBC Monday that market participants are squarely focused on the Fed's main benchmark rate and concerns that longer-dated debt yields could spike if the bank decides to tighten policy.
"The payrolls was in line...let's not split hairs," he said. "The expectations could get carried away that the U.S. was about to explode, the Fed is about to raise rates."
European and U.S. stocks looked set for a higher open on Monday, regaining some ground after the heavy losses. However, analysts Marius Paun and Jonathan Sudaria from Capital Spreads predicted that it was a blatant "dead cat bounce" and eyed more volatility in the short term.
"The major indices still remain firmly entrenched in a down move and there doesn't appear to be any clear sign of a bottom being put in anytime soon," they said in a morning note on Monday.