Long-term trend for markets very good: Rutledge

The U.S. economy is soft right now, which doesn't bode well for the markets short term, strategist John Rutledge said Monday. However, he thinks the long-term trend on the U.S. markets "still looks very good."

"The surprises for the last month have all been negative for the U.S., positive for the euro. That's why the dollar stopped rising," said Rutledge, chief investment strategist for Safanad and a CNBC contributor.

"I think this is a short-term thing. The U.S. is growing faster and we are going to raise rates. So this will reverse in time."

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Despite a weak jobs report on Friday, U.S. stocks traded higher Monday, in part because of dovish comments by New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley. He said the timing of the central bank's interest rate hikes is uncertain and that the once those hikes start, they would be shallow.

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"I'm tired of federal open-mouth operations," Rutledge said on "Power Lunch."

"We should have a down day. Dudley opens his mouth, the market's up. It makes me think they practice their speeches in the mirror to see how the market's going to react ahead of time."

Right now, Rutledge said he thinks it's more interesting to make bets in Europe than the U.S., but "just for a while."

With U.S. growth rather weak, he would own Spanish or German equities but would not short the euro.

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So far, the German market is up about 23 percent, he noted.

However, Rutledge said emerging markets aren't doing so well and will be hurt when the Federal Reserve begins to raise rates.

"They're already experiencing big capital outflows because of the anticipation of that."