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Oil big tail wind for US economy: Pro

The drop in oil prices is a big tail wind for the U.S. economy and it's coming at the just right time, strategist Scott Clemons told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Economically, a cut in oil prices, which feeds to a cut in gasoline prices, is more money in consumers' pockets at precisely the time of year that they need it," Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"The consumer is already 70 percent of GDP. That's a nice tail wind going into 2015. It increases our expectation for how the economy is likely to perform in 2015."

The lowest gas prices in years are seen on a fuel sign in Lawrence, Kan., Nov. 26, 2014.
Orlin Wagner | AP
The lowest gas prices in years are seen on a fuel sign in Lawrence, Kan., Nov. 26, 2014.

The disruption in oil prices and in oil stocks has also created opportunities to buy, he added.

Clemons said he's put some money to work in oil equities over the past couple of months.

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Curt Custard, head of global investment solutions at UBS, sees opportunities in different areas.

"What we're looking at is energy-intensive countries that are going benefit from the lower prices of commodities coming in. This is clearly going to benefit the oil importers of the world versus the oil exporters," he said.

Custard's looking at places like North Asia and Japan, and is growing increasingly concerned with countries such as Venezuela and Russia.

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As for the overall market for next year, Clemons has a "modest" outlook for equities, which he said are still appealing relative to a lot of other asset classes.

Earnings have been "the real fuel for the markets," he said. "We have not had to rely much on multiple expansion. I think that's likely to be the case in 2015 as well."

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However, watch out for increased volatility mid-2015, Custard warned.

"As the Fed rate hike becomes closer and closer, the marketplace is going to start to discount higher borrowing costs for companies, which is going to negatively impact earnings," he said.

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