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Bitcoin's price slump could signal another stock market shock is coming, according to Bleakley Financial Group's Peter Boockvar.
"If bitcoin resumes its decline here, I think that equity investors should pay attention. It's a sign that maybe risk aversion is creeping into the markets again," the firm's chief investment officer said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
Not only is the bitcoin crash still fresh, Boockvar predicts central banks abandoning easy money policies will further eat away at risk appetites.
"This is the everything bubble generated by seven years of zero interest rates and negative interest rates overseas and massive amounts of money printing. It shows up in the asset price inflation in many different places," he said.
Bitcoin prices skyrocketed between Thanksgiving and mid-December — surging to a record $19,843. By January, prices were crashing. A few weeks later on Feb. 2, the stock market began its historic plunge.
"Since the price of bitcoin is still well above where this parabola has started, I still think there is a lot of downside."
The market turmoil may have a lot more life left in it, and just when it seems like it's calming down — another jolt could be right behind it.
That's the scenario Invesco's Kristina Hooper sees unfolding. She predicts a plunge of this magnitude could happen multiple times in the next 10 months.
"I would expect whiplash to continue. The negative animal spirits that are in the market today don't look like they're abating," the firm's chief global market strategist said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "We could see this kind of tumultuous environment continue for days and perhaps weeks."
Market sentiment vastly changed on Feb. 2 after the government reported wages grew 2.9 percent during the past year. Hooper and others say the data sparked alarm bells over rising inflation and drove 10-Year Treasury yields to 2.85 percent.
"[It] really opened up a Pandora's box of other concerns," she said. "We're looking through a very different prism at the same data, the same market events and extrapolating something far more negative."
She's also observing anxiety over potentially adverse consequences from tax reform and a new budget. To pay for it, the government could issue a lot more debt in the next year.
"That's I think what is really gripping the markets with concern right now," she said.
Despite her less-than-rosy forecast, Hooper still believes stocks could end the year about 10 percent higher. But getting there will be "lumpy and bumpy."
"Investors need to be prepared for more volatility," Hooper said.
All that glitters certainly wasn't gold this week, with the traditionally safe-haven asset sinking amid Wall Street's massive sell-off.
But one longtime gold watcher says now could be the time to buy — if you are a patient investor.
"Give it a little bit of time," Mike Dudas, partner at Vertical Research, told CNBC's "Futures Now" this week. "We've just come off a tumultuous last four or five days in the equity markets and everything's getting re-based."
The inverse relationship between stocks and gold should reestablish itself as volatility returns and erratic moves become more commonplace, predicted Dudas. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which measures market volatility, spiked on Monday to its highest settlement since 2011. Three months earlier, the index had settled at an all-time low.
"As things settle down and we get much more volatility in the marketplace, I think gold is going to find a bid," he said. "With the advent of the short-vol trade being busted, more equity volatility, bond markets moving higher with inflation expectations increasing, I think that's very important."
In the near term, Dudas forecasted an upside target of $1,355 an ounce for gold. He maintained a year-end price target of $1,400. Such a level implies 6 percent upside from current levels.
Gold prices declined by nearly 2 percent in the month so far, failing to find buyers already fleeing sharp sell-offs in the stock market. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped more than 1,000 points on Monday and Thursday, gold prices saw moves of less than 1 percent.
Wall Street investors have whiplash after what has been three wild sessions for the market.
The Dow sold off 666 points on Friday, suffered its worst point drop in history on Monday, and then saw a stunning point swing on Tuesday in a session that ended 567 points higher.
Despite the rally, Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, says investors should welcome another sell-off.
"Like ripping off a Band-Aid, the faster we go to the downside, the quicker we see a bottom and the quicker we get back to recovery," Stovall told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday.
Traditionally, corrections, defined as a 10 percent pullback from a 52-week high, find their bottom within a 90-day period.
But this isn't your traditional market. The S&P 500 fell into a pullback, marked by a decline of more 5 percent from its 52-week high, in just one session on Monday. The speed of its decline suggests to Stovall that a predicted correction could find its bottom 10 days earlier than normal.
That correction is a high possibility for Stovall. He expects an overall decline of 13 to 16 percent from the top reached on Jan. 26.
On a fundamental basis, Stovall points to the rule of 20, which measures the price/earnings ratio with inflation, put the stock market as overvalued by at least 13 percent. Then, on a technical level, he noted the S&P 500 was trading 14 percent higher than the 200-day moving average at its peak.
"We probably do need to experience more," he said. "If we don't, then I think we're just biding our time and we're delaying the eventual correction."
The likelihood of a correction grows as the midterm elections draw near. The second and third quarters of a midterm year are typically the worst performers of the 16-quarter presidential cycle. Votes for all seats in the House and a third of the Senate will be cast in November, a cause for uncertainty in the preceding months.
The S&P 500 is currently in a pullback, but has not yet reached a correction. By Tuesday's close, the benchmark index was down nearly 8 percent from its 52-week high hit roughly a week and a half ago. The Dow is closer to correction, having fallen 8.5 percent from its highs.
"It's healthy and it's way overdue," said Stovall. "I don't think this correction is over just yet."
Stovall has a 12-month target of 2,800 on the S&P 500, a level that implies a nearly 5 percent increase for the year. He is not as bullish as some others on the Street. Keith Parker at UBS has the highest price target at 3,150, while the median target sits at 3,000.
The potential correlation between bitcoin and stocks may be extending to another area of the market.
RBC Capital Markets' Chris Louney has detected a fledgling relationship between bitcoin prices and gold flows.
The revelation came in a recent research note. He admits it was challenging at first to find ties since bitcoin is considered an emerging asset.
"It's very hard to really put your hands around a tangible correlation between bitcoin prices and gold prices for most of the history," the firm's commodities analyst said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
But then something changed.
"Towards the end of last year, we started to notice that correlation turned at least mildly negative," Louney said.
It coincided with bitcoin's record breakout to nearly $20,000 in December. That's when he also noticed Google search trends for the word "bitcoin" also surged.
"When we saw interest in bitcoin peak as measured by Google trends, that's really when we saw this marginal negative relationship between gold and bitcoin develop," he said.
Despite bitcoin's January crash, Louney said, he hasn't detected any changes to the relationship since the December peak. But he believes the correlation could eventually grow as bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology matures.
If the latest stock market selloff stings more than the ones that came before it, there may be a reason for it.
Mayflower Advisors' Larry Glazer says it's been so long since the last meaningful correction, the next one will play havoc with investors' heads.
His comments came as the Dow saw its biggest weekly decline in more than two years. On Friday, it tumbled by 666 points or 2.5 percent. The index closed the week down 1,095 points.
"When you get that 10 percent correction for investors, which is really just a day in the park... it's going to feel like 20 or 25 percent," the portfolio manager said recently on CNBC's "Futures Now."
A textbook correction, defined as 10 percent or more, hasn't been seen since August 2015.
If a 10 percent pullback were to hit the Dow right now, it would wipe out about 2552 points more, based on Friday's close. Two years ago, a sell-off of the same magnitude would have cost the Dow nearly 1000 points less.
Glazer says he's been fielding plenty of investor questions about rising volatility and recent market losses in the past few days.
"We had investors saying to us 'Is this it? Is this the big one?' So, investors are not conditioned," he added.
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