Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Morgan Stanley CEO: Markets are overreacting, Fed could hike more

James Gorman: Surprised if we don't see more rate increase

The extent of the oil price plunge has been an "absolute shocker," but the world's economic picture otherwise still looks pretty good, Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman said Thursday.

The U.S. economy is not under stress, he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. While not a perfect picture, it's not the kind of economy that should be causing such turmoil in the markets, he said.

"My screen I have at my desk, there's about 70 stocks that I follow, from energy, financials, consumer, housing, [and] media; every one of them is down, precipitously in three weeks," Gorman said, adding that he does not see a reason for such carnage.

Gorman said he'd be surprised if there weren't more Federal Reserve interest rate increases this year.

The Fed raised rates in December for the first time in more than nine years. Investors had been expecting four more hikes in 2016 based on policymaker projections at the time. But the horrid start to the new year in financial markets has scaled back those forecasts.

Oil has been the "wildcard," Gorman said, admitting that nobody in the past two years saw crude collapsing as much as it has. But he argued that somebody could make lots of money going long "if they have the stomach over a two-year period."

"Supply and demand eventually rebalance. We've seen this again and again and again," he said. "The question is if you got the stomach to live through this rebalance."

Addressing concerns about China, Gorman said the Chinese are facing huge transitional changes from an investment- and management-led economy to a more consumer- and services-driven model.

But he argued, "China is not having a hard-landing here. China is having a natural, mathematical slowdown given the size of the economy."

Read More on 'Squawk Box' in Davos

Jack Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Treasury Sec Lew: China needs to stick to reform plan
Secretary of State John Kerry at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
John Kerry: The world is safer thanks to Iran deal
Michael Corbat
The market is 'adjusting' to oil, China: Citigroup's Corbat
Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs president and COO at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos.
Goldman COO: Oil drop is 'confusing' markets
Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
Coca-Cola CEO: 'My favorite' emerging market—USA
Meg Whitman being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016.
Whitman: We're doing OK, despite economic slowdown
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016.
Cisco CEO: Tech, government need to find balance

Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue, excluding items, that beat Wall Street expectations. The bank pointed to strong performance stock sales and trading as well as wealth management.

Morgan Stanley also recently named a new head for its struggling fixed-income trading business and followed through on announced job cuts of 25 percent in the unit.

"We're not planning more layoffs right now," Gorman told CNBC. He said the bank has "overwhelmingly" put the debris of the financial crisis behind it. "Morgan Stanley is in great shape," he said.