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The climbing dollar creates de facto monetary policy tightening because it represents accelerating U.S. growth and pushes down import prices in the United States. This is happening at a time when the Fed would like to see inflation tick up.
As a rule of thumb, every 10 percent increase in the dollar's value is equal to a half a percentage point tightening by the U.S. central bank, Insana said. The dollar has strengthened 17 percent over the past year, equating to a 75-basis-point tightening.
Insana expects the Fed and central banks in virtually every major developed country to miss their inflation targets, creating a reason for the U.S. central bank to be patient in regard to its anticipated rate hike.
"Under normal circumstances with this increase in the dollar, it tends to slow down, dampen economic activity and as we're seeing already, cut into corporate profits," he said, noting that a stronger dollar makes U.S. exports more expensive and dilutes earnings when companies repatriate money.
The scope of foreign exchange impact on earnings surprised the market, Charles Bobrinskoy, vice chairman of Ariel Investments, told "Street Signs."
"We all knew that foreign exchange was going to be an issue, and it was going to be an issue on guidance, but it's clearly been a bigger issue than we thought," he said.
Bobrinskoy also noted that headwinds for capital expenditures among energy companies due to low prices for oil appear to be overshadowing the positives for consumer spending as Americans spend less on gas, he said.
On Tuesday, heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar blamed its earnings miss and poor guidance not just on the strong dollar, but the decline in oil prices.
These surprises show that the market has not incorporated all the bad news baked into macro developments yet, he added.
CastleArk Management's president and CEO, Jerry Castellini, said earnings reports like P&G's show that companies with much of their revenue denominated outside of the United States face a deteriorating capital situation.
"The companies like P&G, like Microsoft and these big multinationals have this headwind now, and we're quite frankly surprised that it's taken this long with the activity in the currency markets for these stocks to finally wake up to this concept," he told "Power Lunch."
Asked whether U.S. equities are still the best bet, UBS' Tom Digenan told "Power Lunch" that Europe may be the place to be for investors who want to take a risk-on approach. He said the European Central Bank's impending quantitative easing policy makes sense, but it only provides half the formula for recovery.
"They have 17 different, 18 different fiscal policies. Trying to do that with one monetary [policy] is a tough thing to juggle, and the U.S. is still where you see some growth," he said.
TIAA-CREF is looking outside of the United States for investment opportunity because it has low expectations for earnings this year, Dan Morris, the firm's global investment strategist told "Street Signs." He sees potential coming out of Europe, where margins are lower and the ECB is about to launch a bond-buying program to boost growth.
"All that is an environment where you think there is potential for much bigger gains in European equities than you're likely to see in the U.S. So I think that's what people need to keep in mind," he said.
"It's always when the pessimism is at its highest that you're going to find the best opportunities. And for the most part most investors I think are too pessimistic about Europe."