GOP rift could break election year market trend: Strategist

Markets tend to price in presidential candidates by September in an election year, but a divided GOP could create volatility, according to Jason Trennert, chief investment strategist at Strategas Research Partners.

"As a Republican, I'm more worried about a fractured Republican Party and [its] impact on the markets than I am about who" the candidate is, he told "Squawk Box" on Friday.

Whether Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. John Kasich or someone else gets the nomination, the market will create winners or losers, Trennert said. Once the field is narrowed to the Democratic and Republican contenders, the market has historically been able to suss out who will win by September, he said.

But if a third party emerges, investors will find themselves in a different world, particularly if the schism persists for a long time as the GOP mends its wounds, he said.

Outward hostility between the Republican presidential front-runner Trump and parts of the GOP establishment have raised concerns that the party will have to resort to a brokered convention, or a nominating process in which there is no clear winner by delegate count.

Trump has warned there will be "riots" if the party denies him the nomination should he maintain a large lead but fall short of the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nod.

Trump has 756 delegates, Sen. Ted Cruz has 545 and Ohio Gov, John Kasich 143, according to NBC News.

Ed Campbell, senior portfolio manager at QMA, said prediction markets currently put the odds of a Hillary Clinton presidency at roughly 75 percent.

"Markets tend to not like uncertainty. Clinton would represent continuity, so I think that would be an OK outcome as far as the markets are concerned," he told "Squawk Box."

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