Markets

Blackstone's Byron Wien says sell-off is not the start of a bear market

Key Points
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell sharply in early trading on Monday.
  • "The market was vulnerable to a 5% to 10% correction at any given time. Maybe we're getting it now. I don't think it's the end of the world. I think the virus will be brought under control," Blackstone's Byron Wien said.
  • Wien said in his "Ten Surprises" note earlier this year that the U.S. markets would see several corrections of 5% or more during the year.
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Market was vulnerable to a correction at any time: Blackstone's Wien

Blackstone Vice Chairman Byron Wien told CNBC that Monday's sell-off amid the spreading coronavirus outbreak was not the start of a bear market.

"It's not the beginning of a bear market. It's a serious correction related to a fundamental development," Wien said in a "Squawk Alley" interview. "The fundamental development will be corrected ultimately, and the market will resume its previous direction, which was positive."

U.S. equity markets opened lower on Monday after a weekend of reports that the coronavirus was spreading more rapidly outside of mainland China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 800 points, or 2.75%, while Wien was speaking. The index closed down more than 1,000 points, or 3.56%.

Wien said the market has been primed for a pullback recently.

"The market was vulnerable to a 5% to 10% correction at any given time. Maybe we're getting it now. I don't think it's the end of the world. I think the virus will be brought under control," Wien said.

Wien said in his "Ten Surprises" note earlier this year that the U.S. markets would see several corrections of 5% or more during the year, but he still predicted the S&P 500 would finish the year at 3,500.

Even with the virus outbreak hurting economic growth for at least the first quarter, Wien said the domestic and global economies could still have a solid year.

"The U.S. was doing very well in spite of the virus. I think if the virus is brought under control the world economy will continue to expand," Wien said.