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JPM: Forget earnings, here's what we need from companies

Investors should not focus on firms' first-quarter earnings results, but rather on their outlook for the second half of the year, Stephen Parker of JPMorgan Private Bank said Thursday.

"We need to see what companies are saying about the future and, if they can paint a better picture about the back half of the year now that oil has stabilized, that the dollar has come off, that's going to drive markets higher," JPM's head of thematic equity solutions told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Parker said the bar has been set so low for companies that they would most likely beat estimates.


"For most of the first quarter, we were talking about recession, we were talking about a collapse in oil prices, and it was only in the middle of February … when things started to turn around," he said.

Earnings season kicks off on Monday, with Alcoa scheduled to report quarterly results after the bell.

Recent U.S. economic data has been mixed, with inflation dipping slightly last month and the services sector expanding more than expected in March.

"We're in an economic expansion. We haven't been derailed from that economic expansion, but we're in the seventh year of it, there is some building-up risks, it's inherently fragile economic expansion," Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede, said in the same interview.

The benchmark S&P 500 was up over 1 percent for the year entering Thursday, and had gained over 14 percent since hitting a Feb. 11 intraday low of 1,810.10.

In another "Squawk Box" interview, Christopher Hyzy of Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management, said we are in a "buffalo market."

"It's an erratic bull. ... There's a lot of unknowns. Things aren't as transparent as we would like. We're in a secular 2 percent growth in the U.S," the firm's chief investment officer said. "The buffalo can roam for a long time, and it gets tired. If there's something concerning to the buffalo, it's going to run the other way."