×

How to protect yourself from the sell-off: Gartman

With Wall Street seeing a further sell-off this week, Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of the Gartman Letter, told CNBC Friday that buying some downside protection was "justifiable," especially with the U.S. Federal Reserve about to hike rates.

"I'm still long of stocks but I'm long a particular sector, I'm long of gold a little bit, I'm long of tankers but quite honestly, I'm considering buying a little bit of protection after yesterday's move," Gartman told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box."


Dennis Gartman
Lauren Alperstein | CNBC
Dennis Gartman

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes have all declined 1.5-1.8 percent over the last seven days, putting paid to any hopes for a so-called Santa rally in December. U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Thursday as bond yields climbed and traders were worried the Fed would raise rates while the economy is too weak.

The Dow closed down about 250 points after earlier falling as much as 304 points. The S&P and Dow both closed below their 200-day moving averages for the first time since Nov. 17. The Nasdaq closed around 1.7 percent lower Thursday with sentiment not helped at all by the European Central Bank which announced more stimulus but did not go as far as investors hoped.

Gartman said market trends showed that global stocks could fall further. "Trend lines have been broken in the Dow, in the S&P and clearly trend lines have been broken in the EuroStoxx 50. You've seen a lot of damage and it's probably wiser to be less bullish. It's probably wiser to take some protection and put on some derivatives to protect yourself from the downside."

Another piece of data for markets and Fed Chair Janet Yellen to digest comes on Friday with the release of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for December.

Job growth probably slowed in November, but it was not likely to have been sluggish enough to stop the Fed from raising interest rates when it meets on December 15-16.

Economists expect 200,000 nonfarm payrolls and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5 percent, after a surprisingly strong 271,000 new jobs last month. They also expect average hourly wages to rise 0.2 percent, after a surprise jump of 0.4 percent in October.

Gartman expected a stronger jobs numbers, forecasting 225,000 new jobs in November. He cited private payroll data earlier this week from payroll processing firm ADP, which showed private companies added a better-than-expected 217,000 positions in November, as a reason for his forecast.

Like many others, Gartman believed that the Fed would hike rates later this monthfor the first time in nine years, by at least 25 basis points. "Now the only question is, when do they move again and how quickly do they move?"

-CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed reporting to this story.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt. Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.