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U.S. markets are primed to handle not one, but two Federal Reserve rate increases, Wells Fargo Investment Institute's Scott Wren said Thursday.
"I think there's some concern over when the first one will be. I would lean towards September; certainly not June," Wren told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street. "
Wren made his remarks after the Labor Department reported that U.S. weekly jobless claims rose 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000. The Fed's FOMC meeting minutes were also released on Wednesday and showed that voting members were split with regards to the timing of a rates increase.
The recent economic data coming out of the U.S. has also led to extremely low corporate earnings expectations. Nevertheless, Wren added he believes this year's earnings outlook may have been overblown by the media.
"The sky is not falling. We may stumble a little bit on earnings … but when you look ahead, remember that earnings are a lagging indicator," Wren said. "Consensus expectations for earnings, not just for this quarter, but for the entire year, are too low. We're going to see some decent economic growth."
Not everyone, however, agrees with Wren's thesis on Fed rate increases.
"Recovery in the U.S. is sufficiently soggy that the odds of one increase [point toward] the end of the year in December," Willem Buiter, Citi's chief economist, said in the same interview. "Clearly it depends a lot on whether the weakness in Q1 [comes from] Frosty the Snowman again. Last year, we got 2.4 percent for the year instead of 3 percent [earnings growth]."
Buiter added the central bank should keep rates at the lowest amount as possible. "We need stimulation. We don't get it from the fiscal boys, the monetary boys have to do it. The only way to do it is by keeping rates low," he said.
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