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Value investor David Katz sees risks ahead: Don't chase the rally, buy the weakness

Key Points
  • If there is some sort of resolution to the U.S.-China trade escalation, the market is due for another leg up, says Matrix Asset Advisors' David Katz 
  • "If we don't, it's got some downside," he says.
  • The market is in a trading rage, so "buy weakness rather than chase strength," he notes.
Emerging markets world leaders in years to come, expert says

There could be downside ahead for the stock market, noted value investor David Katz told CNBC on Wednesday.

"The thing that could derail the market and derail the economy is if this [China] trade talk escalates and we do enter a trade war. It would be bad for everybody. A lot of companies are talking about the negatives associated with higher prices or slowing sales," the chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors said on "Power Lunch. "

If there is some sort of resolution, "the market is due for another leg up," he added. "If we don't, it's got some downside."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Wednesday after a report said the U.S. is proposing a new round of trade talks with China.

A pedestrian views a mobile device while walking past the Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Katz, however, wouldn't buy on news like this.

"You want to buy when you have a sell-off because we do think the market's in a trading range and you want to buy weakness rather than chase strength."

Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group, warned investors to be careful about these particular headlines because there could be some political motivations.

That's because the one thing President Donald Trump has going for him is the strong market and economy, Cox told "Power Lunch."

"The Republicans, the president, do not want markets being down going into those midterm elections. So we're probably going to see, if nothing else, a lot of repeated starting and stopping of talks with China," he said.

Right now, Cox thinks it is the "perfect time" to get into emerging markets, which have suffered amid trade war talks, a strengthening dollar and rising interest rates.

"If the trade wars end, the places that have been hit the hardest will also recover the fastest," he said.

Plus, interest rates won't be a factor if the Fed keeps to the pace of increases it has already telegraphed.

That said, Cox pointed out this is for investors looking a couple of years down the road.

"The emerging markets, the economies there, are going to be the leaders in the world for some years to come," he said.

Katz sees value in financials and energy stocks, as well as some technology names like eBay and Facebook. It's also a good time to get into Goldman Sachs, which should be 20 to 30 percent higher a year from now, he said.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

Disclosures: Matrix clients and Katz own Facebook, eBbay and Goldman Sachs.