As a rough January for stocks comes to an end, BMO Private Bank’s chief operating officer Jack Ablin sees a few reasons to be optimistic.
First of all, the decline in stock prices have made U.S. stocks—which he has recently perceived as rather pricey—a better value.
“We are getting close, or closer, to fair value, and I think that’s something that investors can eventually sink their teeth into,” Ablin said last week on CNBC’s “Futures Now.”
Additionally, the asset allocator actually draws something positive from the market, which tumbled on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve decided to put a temporary pause on its rate hike campaign. A generally dovish statement from the central bank was greeted with a cascade of selling.
“The Fed did what it’s supposed to do: Disengage from financial markets and focus on the economy. Unfortunately, the market responded like a crying baby whose mother wouldn’t feed them,” Ablin stated.
“We think this is part of a cathartic process of moving from something as ephemeral as Fed talk to something that’s a lot more solid, like earnings and revenues,” he added. “I think we’re most of the way there.”
However, he’s not yet a bull again on U.S. stocks. Ablin said that “we’d like to see further evidence of a little more momentum.” Yet the time to buy stocks may indeed be approaching.
“We raised dry powder last August and are anxiously awaiting an opportunity to redeploy it,” he wrote in a recent note to clients. “At this rate, we could be putting it to work this quarter.”
—By CNBC’s Alex Rosenberg.