Why global growth is topping Wells Fargo's list of worries 

If global growth doesn't pick up, the bull market will face a major hurdle, market watcher Scott Wren says.

Wren, senior global equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, ranks it as his top risk — ahead of a potential Federal Reserve policy mistake and ongoing trade tensions.

"I think really an all-out trade war is a relatively low probability. I'm more worried about: Is global growth going to slow down, stabilize, what's going to happen there?" he said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

It's largely an effect of central banks around the world simultaneously ending easy money policies. Wren sees the actions possibly bleeding into the U.S. stock market because so many American companies rely on business all over the world.

"We need some help from the overseas economies to get to the earnings estimates, and the type of targets that we're looking at," he said.

Stocks to finish year lower?

Wren doesn't see much upside left this year in the stock market. He predicts the S&P 500 could end the year as much as 4 percent lower than current levels, citing a fair value-type scenario.

"Valuations are not cheap. They are not extremely stretched to the upside, but I sense we could be in the early innings, very early innings, of the chasing activity that would typically take you to the top," Wren said. "That could play out over a year or two."

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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 CNBC and 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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