Prudential: Forget dovish Fed, this is what stocks need

Don't fear 25 basis points: Pro
Market's anxiety trifecta: Pro
Stock futures steady ahead of Yellen speech

U.S. equities will need strong earnings results to continue their remarkable comeback since hitting their 2016 lows last month, Prudential Financial's Quincy Krosby said Tuesday.

"Whether or not you think Janet Yellen is going to be accommodative, … the fact is we're moving closer to where we need growth. We need fundamentals, we need revenue growth to pick up," the firm's market strategist told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

The Dow Jones industrial average is slightly positive for the quarter, on track for its biggest quarterly comeback since fourth quarter 1933. At its 2016 lows, the blue chips index was down 11.79 percent.

Earnings growth concerns have remained prevalent throughout the first quarter amid a massive drop in oil prices, as well as a steep decline in stock buybacks, one of the main drivers for the seven-year bull market.

In fact, stock repurchases are currently tracking at a 21-month low for March. "Basically, [companies] may be wanting to hold on to just a little bit more cash, watching the market themselves," Krosby said.

In another "Squawk Box" interview, Federated Investors chief equities strategist Phil Orlando said he has low expectations for the earnings season.

"Our sense is that earnings are going to be down somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-to-10 percent year over year. Oil and the dollar are going to be the biggest problems, so those numbers would be on the lower end of that," he said.

Orlando said he also expects first-quarter GDP data to be weak. "From our perspective, there is no way the Fed can tighten in the April or June time frame, if these are the numbers they're looking at."

Yellen, the Federal Reserve's chair, is scheduled to deliver a speech on monetary policy later on Tuesday.

At its last meeting, the Fed's policymaking committee kept monetary policy unchanged and cut in half its expected number of rate hikes for this year to two.

However, several key Fed policymakers — including St. Louis Fed President James Bullard — have since delivered more hawkish remarks. Last week, Bullard said another rate hike "may not be far off" if the economy evolves as expected.

Also on "Squawk Box," IHT Wealth Management President Steven Dudash said the market would be OK if the central bank raises another 25 basis points.

"There will be some bumps along the way. That's fine, and I understand the rest of the world is going in a different direction with negative interest rates, … but we can raise our rates a little bit, and our economy is going to be just fine. The stock market might drop a couple of points right off the bat, but it will show that we're nearing full employment."