Futures Now

Stocks will ‘embrace’ a rate hike: Tom Lee

Tom Lee's bold market call
Tom Lee's bold market call

One of the biggest stated concerns for stocks over the past year has been the tightening of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. But for the famously bullish Tom Lee, those who expect a Fed hike to hit stocks are getting something wrong.

When asked about the potential consequences of a Fed rate hike in December, Lee said: "I think markets are really going to embrace this, and it's going to be quite constructive."

Lee, the former JPMorgan strategist now with boutique research firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, said "equity markets are anxious to really get some clarity from the Fed, and of course we interpret that to mean the Fed to start moving," particularly after so many months of speculation about when the first hike would come.

A December move wouldn't exactly be a shock to the market; to the contrary, "we know fixed income markets and credit have priced in some type of move," Lee said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now."

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In terms of the economic impact, Lee doubts that corporate America will "stumble because we've raised rates 25 basis points."

Even though a rate hike wouldn't be a shock or a major impediment to companies, Lee said, "I do think we've got a lot of investors who are sidelined today, waiting for some clarity from the Fed."

Once the central bank actually makes its move, it will clear the way for investors to jump in and buy.

Over the next year, financial stocks should do particularly well in an environment of rising rates, as well as decreased regulatory risk, he said.

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