Trade tensions could push long-time bull Art Hogan to cut stock forecast

Long-time bull Art Hogan may become the first Wall Street analyst to cut his year-end forecast due to risks of a trade war.

If the tensions don't subside soon, the B. Riley FBR chief market strategist told CNBC's "Trading Nation," his S&P 500 price target of 3,000 may be unattainable.

"It was our target at the beginning of the year, and it’s our belief that either trade conversations and trade discussions were going to turn to negotiations," Hogan said Monday. "It’s hard to see the end game right now. And, this is one of the policies that could certainly get economic."

He worries big companies will avoid making big money decisions and planning for the future out of fear — a scenario that will hurt stock prices.

"The second quarter is in the bag. It’s going to be fine," he said. "But third- and fourth-quarter growth could be impaired. And, if that’s the case, we may see earnings revisions will come down. We might have to tweak down our price target for 2018 in the S&P 500."

Hogan's thoughts came as the S&P 500 was falling sharply — eventually seeing its worst day since April 6. The Dow, which represents multinational companies, fell even harder. It closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Brexit two years ago.

But Hogan does see a place for investors to hide: small-cap stocks.

"The Russell 2000 certainly has the benefit of being largely domestic," he said.

The index has been ripping to record highs this year, and it's a call that's worked out well for Hogan.

Since recommending the group during his last "Trading Nation" appearance on May 18, the Russell 2000 is still in positive territory while the S&P 500 and Dow are negative.

"You’ve got an opportunity still with the Russell 2000 just looking at the net-beneficiary of tax reform, not to mention the fact that it is not adversely affected by the strong dollar," Hogan said. "We’d stick with that bet.”

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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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