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Market behavior may be shifting from buy the dips to sell the rallies: Trader

  • Recent market action may be signaling a shift in behavior that could make it tough for stocks to get back to all-time highs, trader Keith Bliss says.
  • Portfolio manager Stephanie Link thinks concerns about macro issues like inflation will play themselves out.
  • "I think people are going to return to fundamentals at some point. But we just have to be patient here," she says.

Recent market action may be signaling a shift in behavior that could make it tough for stocks to get back to all-time highs, trader Keith Bliss told CNBC on Thursday.

For the last two trading sessions, the market closed well off its highs of the day. While Wednesday's late-afternoon action was likely caused by nervousness about an aggressive Federal Reserve, there doesn't seem to be a real reason for Thursday's movement other than "people fading into the close," he said.

"What I'm becoming concerned about is we may be shifting from a buy-the-dips to a sell-the-rallies type of market," the senior vice president of Cuttone & Co. told "Closing Bell."

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 snapped a two-day slide on Thursday. The Dow rose as much as 358.94 points before ending 164.70 points higher at 24,962.48.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 ended Thursday's session 0.1 percent higher at 2,703.96 after a rollover in the final hour of trading. The broad index gained as much as 1.1 percent during the day.

However, Bliss believes the market was massively oversold when it hit the lows on Feb. 9 and he thinks it may have more room to run higher.

That said, the volatility has been a reminder to people that the market doesn't go straight up forever "and you need to go ahead and take some chips off the table at the appropriate time," he added.

Stephanie Link, equity portfolio manager at Nuveen, a TIAA company, believes the underlying fundamentals are still very strong. What's going on in the macro environment is the unknown about inflation, interest rates and the Fed, she said.

"That's going to play itself out and I think people are going to return to fundamentals at some point. But we just have to be patient here," she told "Closing Bell."

Concerns about interest rates and inflation helped fuel the market sell-off earlier this month. Veteran trader Art Cashin told CNBC earlier Thursday that once the 10-year Treasury yield hits 3 percent, "all hell" could break loose in the markets.

On Thursday, the 10-year yield was slightly lower, around 2.91 percent, down from Wednesday's four-year high of 2.95 percent.

Bliss, however, doesn't necessarily agree that "all hell" will break lose in the stock market when it hits 3 percent.

"It will make a pause. It may kick up volatility," he said. "But if we continue to push much beyond 3 percent then that will start to look like a breakout on rates and that will be trouble for equities."

— CNBC's Fred Imbert and Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

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