The S&P 500 should pass 2,800 after Friday's earnings: Investor

  • Several large banks, including Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, report earnings Friday before the bell.
  • Trader Steve Grasso says these banks are about 25 percent of the XLF, the ETF of the financial sector.
  • He anticipates positive earnings and the index passing 2,800.

After financials report Friday, the S&P 500 is likely to pass the 2,800 mark, investor Steve Grasso told CNBC.

"Prior to tomorrow’s opening, when you get these companies that should perform pretty well, you should see the market overtake that 2,800 level," Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel, said Thursday on "Closing Bell."

On Thursday, the index gained 0.9 percent, closing at 2,798.29.

Some analysts have predicted the index could reach as high as 3,000 by 2019. But S&P has hovered around 2,600 to 2,700 for most of the year and has yet to regain its January highs past 2,800.

Several large banks will report quarterly earnings before the start of Friday's trading day, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, First Republic Bank and PNC Financial Services Group. Grasso, who is also a CNBC contributor, estimates these banks make up about 25 percent of the XLF, the ETF of the financial sector, and said positive earnings will only push the market higher.

Meanwhile, investors have been on edge as trade war tensions continue to loom. In March, President Donald Trump first proposed tariffs to fix what he deemed unfair trading practices. Earlier in July, $34 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods kicked in. On Tuesday, Trump announced another round of tariffs, this time 10 percent on nearly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

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But, Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at the Bleakley Advisory Group, said the market more often reacts to hard data than temporary uncertainty.

"The stock market is not going to react until the problem is right in front of their face," said Boockvar, who is also a CNBC contributor.

"Until the stock market sees it actually in corporate earnings and sees it in the hard economic data, I don't necessarily think they're going to react," he said.