BlackRock's Doll Says Worst May Be Over

BlackRock vice chairman Robert Doll said the worst could be over for now in terms of market turmoil.


"I think the market is answering the question for us," he said in a quick interview Friday morning. "When people don't know, they hunker down and own less risk. Equities come down and bonds go up. If you think more of this is coming, you sell some stocks, buy some Treasurys, and buy some gold...I think the worst is behind us, and I wouldn't make that trade."

"Things are never black and white," he cautions, but a $15 run up in oil prices does not seem justified.

Stocks were beaten down earlier this week, as oil shot up on concerns unrest in Libya would result in a long term shut down of its oil production and that the rebellion could spread to other oil producers. The market stabilized Thursday, as oil backed down to the $97 a barrel level, after zooming up in early trading to about $103. The S&P finished down just slightly and the Nasdaq higher. On Friday, the stock market was higher, led by strong gains in tech stocks, and oil prices were barely changed.

Saudi Arabia has soothed some of the concerns about oil supply by pledging to increase production. Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam also calmed market concern about the safety of Libya's oil facilities by saying his father's government would never destroy Libya's oil production.

"If things don't get worse in the Middle East, I don't see this developing into some big correction," said Doll, who is chief investment officer of global equities at BlackRock . Doll said he is adding some cyclical names to the portfolio and paring back on some energy holdings since the stocks will fall if oil declines.

"I guess I'd be disappointed if (oil prices) were not lower by the end of the year, but they may get there by going lower sooner and resume their climb when the economy gets better," he said.

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