Trading Nation

Market will give Fed a 'punch to the mouth' in 2020, a top market analyst says

The market has yet to punch Fed in the mouth, top expert Jim Bianco says

The Federal Reserve could be in store for some pain.

That's according to Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research, who says the recent market narrative reminds him of the former boxer Mike Tyson's quote that "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Bianco says that while markets have been hitting new all-time highs and the Fed seems poised to hold off on continuing to cut interest rates, it hasn't been tested with a "punch to the mouth" that could drastically alter its "plan."

"We'll have to see if this will hold up on a 5% to 7% correction. I kind of have my doubts," Bianco said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday, a day that saw the markets close lower. "The markets [are] looking for one cut maybe next year. I wouldn't be surprised if it winds up being two or three once all is said and done."

The final 2019 meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers is scheduled for next week. Chairman Jerome Powell has signaled that rates are likely to hold steady as the central bank remains committed to meeting its 2% inflation goal. Bianco says the lack of inflation is one of the reasons pressure will remain on interest rates in the new year.

"There is no inflation. I think that automation is pushing us towards even less inflation and greater competition. Just look at the lack of people at brick-and-mortar retailers on Black Friday as well, too. I also think the downward pressure from overseas interest rates and some of the worrisome numbers like the ISM numbers and the lack of earnings should keep the pressure on for lower rates and more cuts in 2020," said Bianco.

In October, the Federal Open Market Committee cut its benchmark rate another quarter point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, marking the third rate cut this year. Bianco says that while policymakers may remain on hold for now, any weakness in the market would raise the odds of further cuts.

"One of the reasons I believe that they're on hold is the market is rocketing off to new all-time highs almost every other day. There is some concern about a bubble forming within the halls of the Federal Reserve, so if you got it to pull back, then you could look that there's no earnings, the numbers are not the greatest, they're not recessionary but they're not the greatest, and the slowdown in the global economy. I think the pressure would be on them to cut rates some more," said Bianco.

Regarding Treasury yields, Bianco noted that the 10-year could go back up to 2%, but he said a further climb seems unlikely.

"Two percent could happen, … but 2.50% or 3%. I think that that's out of the question. … The 10-year is the highest in the developed world for the first time since the 1950s. There is a downward pull from the rest of the world on our interest rates, not an upward pull. It is unusual for us to be this high relative to the rest of the world, and I think that will continue to exert downward pressure as we move into 2020," said Bianco.

Here's what the Fed should do in 2020, top expert Jim Bianco says