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Coronavirus spike is likely pushing stocks into a 10% correction, top strategist Phil Orlando warns

'We could pull back another 10% here over the next six weeks or so:' Federated Hermes' Phil Orlando
'We could pull back another 10%:' Federated Hermes' Phil Orlando

It appears the market is at a critical juncture.

Federated Hermes' Phil Orlando warns there are three near-term risks that could drag stocks into a correction.

His biggest concern surrounds the spike in coronavirus cases in several states.

"The situation with the surge in infections is disconcerting because we've been led to believe that we had peaked in sort of the middle of April, and had been rolling over," the firm's chief equity market strategist told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Wednesday. "Right now, we've got a lot of questions with not a lot of answers."

Orlando, who came into this year as one of the market's biggest bulls, also sees Wall Street getting more skittish about the November presidential election.

"Trump's poll numbers have cratered here over the last couple of weeks," said Orlando. 

The fear on the Street, according to Orlando, is Joe Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats win the Senate. If that happens, there's speculation many of the President Trump business-friendly policies could end.

"The reality is we could pull back another 10% here over the next six weeks or so," Orlando said. 

Besides political risks, Orlando sees second quarter earnings season creating uncertainty.

"Who's to say that the difficult data that we see next month is not contained to the second quarter," he added. "The market to some degree may be worrying that the recession extends into the second half of the year."

This is Orlando's second pullback warning in the last month. He told "Trading Nation" in late May there was a high probability of a "cleansing correction" striking stocks.

His S&P 500 level to watch right now is 2,800 to 2,850. On Wednesday, the index fell 2.6% to close at 3,050

"We had an 8% correction in the middle of the month. We had a little bit of a rally off of that. It looks like we're going to see some more weakness," said Orlando, who's responsible for almost $606 billion in assets.

His best advice for investors: Stay diversified, and don't do anything drastic. 

"Maybe you want to play defense a little bit," Orlando said. "You want to be a little cautious here because the market could experience a continuation of this June swoon over the course of the next few weeks."


Why the latest pullback puts the market at a critical juncture
Why the latest pullback puts the market at a critical juncture