US Markets

This is a signal to bail on US stocks: Expert

Ablin focused on momentum

With international markets trading at a discount to the U.S. stock market, the chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank told CNBC that he's watching for a signal that it's time to bail on the domestic market.

The bank has been "tiptoeing" into international stocks, but is still overweight U.S. equities.

"I want to see if momentum here slows down a little bit. That's going to be the indicator that we're going to want to move away from the U.S. and go into these cheaper markets that appear to be moving in the right direction," Jack Ablin said in an interview on Thursday with "Power Lunch."

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Specifically, he's looking for anything related to the 200-day moving average.

The moving average is moving at an annualized rate of 13-14 percent each year, he explained.

"If the market doesn't continue to move in a 13 to 14 percent annual return pattern, it's going to eventually cross, and when the cross gets close that's the signal things are slowing down and it's probably time to move on," said Ablin.

That said, "I'm still enjoying the U.S.," which has been a great story, he said. In fact, he thinks Wal-Mart's move to boost its employees' pay will spur a little inflation. That, combined with other wage news, could be a strong signal for the United States.

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He's also unconcerned about being late getting into international markets, which he said are trading at about a 30 percent discount to the U.S. Emerging markets are trading at a 50 percent discount, he noted.

"This is probably a three-year trade," Ablin said. "I'm willing to leave a little incremental return on the table to prove that we've gotten the traction there."