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BlackRock: What you should take away from Icahn, Soros bearishness

We might be at the very end of this economic cycle, and the remarks by legendary investors Carl Icahn and George Soros signal it, said Jeff Rosenberg, BlackRock's chief investment strategist for fixed income.

"I think the message there is that this is a very late part of current cycle. Nobody knows how far that cycle will go, but it's clear that you're seeing many signals," Rosenberg said Thursday, on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "You're seeing them in the fixed income markets, you're seeing it in the credit markets, you see it in profits, in the equity markets — that this is the later part in the economic cycle."

Soros, according to The Wall Street Journal, came out of trading retirement with a series of very bearish bets, selling equities in favor of gold and gold miners' stocks. Icahn, meanwhile, said Soros' strategy made sense as equities had been falsely propped up.

U.S. equities traded mostly lower Thursday, while gold futures for August delivery rose $10.40 to $1,272.70 an ounce. U.S. Treasury yields continued to fall, with the benchmark 10-year yield holding near 1.67 percent.

Carl Icahn and George Soros
Adam Jeffery | CNBC; Getty Images
Carl Icahn and George Soros

Adding to stock investors' worries, Rosenberg noted that "central bank policy is running on fumes."

"We're scraping the bottom of the barrel on what other further policy iterations that can be done to help to support the market," he said.

The Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, raised interest rates from zero in December, while the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank have crossed into negative rates, trying to jumpstart their respective economies.

That said, UBS Chief Investment Strategist Mike Ryan disagreed with at least part of Rosenberg's premise.

"There is no question we're in the mature phase of the business cycle, but I do think we have to be careful because I do think this business cycle is going to be very different than prior cycles," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "I think this is going to be more of an accordion expansion. That means it's narrower and more fragile than we've seen in the past, but it's also a longer one."

"We're not seeing the kinds of excesses that come at the very end part of the cycle that usually trip us into a recession this time," he said. "We don't have the huge build-up of debt … within the consumer side that usually winds up in a pullback of consumer spending."