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There's nowhere for investors to run as coronavirus fears hit stocks, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus warns

It's too late for investors to turn defensive, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus says
It's too late for investors to turn defensive, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus says

Market bull John Stoltzfus is telling investors there's nowhere to run.

The Oppenheimer Asset Management chief investment strategist warns the surge in coronavirus cases will continue to rock the market, and he sees few options other than staying put right now.

"The defensive [areas] that one would run for shelter to look very richly valued — whether it's the 10-year Treasury, the 30-year Treasury, an ounce of gold, utilities stocks, real estate stocks," he told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday.

If coronavirus cases fail to peak globally within the next couple of weeks, Stoltzfus believes stocks could fall 10% from their recent all-time highs.

"It really depends upon news flow at this point as well as emotions. How many are lining up to sell," he said.

But Stoltzfus, who has worked on Wall Street for four decades, isn't letting his near-term sell-off forecast tinker with his 2020 market forecast. Even though both the S&P 500 had its worst day in two years and the Dow went negative for the year, he's confident stocks will rebound.

'Build shopping lists'

"Build shopping lists of what you may have missed and regretted missing just a few weeks ago when the market was moving up every day," he said. "Then, consider the price you want to buy at and that you feel comfortable with and consider how much fluctuation you can take because this will take a while to work out."

Stoltzfus is already building his most wanted list.

"We think the opportunities lie in technology, industrials, financials and in consumer discretionary — all of which to some extent are going to come under pressure on days like this," added Stoltzfus, who has a 3,500 year-end target on the S&P. It implies an 8% increase from Monday's close.

This isn't the first time Stoltzfus reiterated his long-term bullish case during a tumultuous time in the market. On "Trading Nation" in early January, he gave similar advice when fears over Iran sparked the market's worst day in a month.

"This is not the dark ages. It's 21-century medicine," Stoltzfus said. "The markets just have to get this out of their system and then we can likely move forward on fundamentals."


Stocks will fall until the coronavirus outbreak peaks, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus warns
Stocks will fall until coronavirus peaks, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus warns