BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said Friday the stock market could fall another 10 percent and oil prices could test $25 per barrel.
“We’re in the midst of a real market decline, bordering on a bear market,” he told “Squawk Box” on CNBC. “But the speed at which this is happening is just a reassessment of the risk, reassessment of where we’re going.”
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U.S. stock futures were crumbling Friday morning, with Dow futures down nearly 300 points, as oil tanked. The resumption of the decline follows Thursday’s sharp increase on Wall Street.
Despite Thursday’s gains, the Dow Jones industrial average and theNasdaq composite remained in correction, a threshold of 10 percent or more to the downside from all-time highs. But the S&P 500 was able to narrowly escape correction territory ahead of Friday’s trading.
If the market were to fall another 10 percent, as predicted by Fink, that would put stocks in a bear market, as defined by a decline of 20 percent from new highs.
“I believe there’s not enough blood in the street. We’ll probably going to have to test the markets lower,” he said. “When we test the markets lower, it’s going to be a pretty good buying opportunity.”
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Fink does not believe stocks will enter what he calls a classic bear market. “I always look at a bear market … [as] persistent water torture, day after day after day after day. I’m not sure this is what we call a classic bear market.
But by the second half of the year, Fink said, the stock market should be higher. “Over the course of the next six months, we think it’s going to feel a lot better.”
“There’s not that much leverage in the system,” he said. “That’s why all the analogies to 2008 and 2009 are erroneous. We don’t have that type of leverage.”
As for oil, prices were plunging Friday morning, with West Texas Intermediate crude down more than 5 percent. WTI was trading under $30 per barrel, after posting the first significant gains for 2016 in the previous session.
“But my worry about oil prices today I’m sure nine out 10 of your guests talk about oil is going lower now so it’s a very heavy trade,” Fink said.
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These sharp moves in oil and the dismal start of the year for the stock market put negativity across the U.S. economy, he said. “It’s] a negativity to every CEO who is looking at his or her stock price [as well as] a negativity related to business and the forward thinking about businesses.”
“I actually believe you’re going to start seeing more layoffs in the middle part of the first quarter, definitely the second quarter.” he warned.