Investors are concerned about three key risks but they may be worrying for nothing, strategist Scott Wren told CNBC on Tuesday.
The questions of whether there will be a policy mistake by the Federal Reserve, whether global growth is going to slow and whether there will be a margin squeeze have been weighing on investors, causing stocks to sell off, he said.
“If your answer is ‘no’ to all of those, which that is our answer, you need to be stepping in here and buying some stocks,” said Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
“Not that they are zero probabilities, but we believe they are low probabilities. Let’s face it, we’re playing a game of probabilities here,” he told “Closing Bell.”
U.S. stocks sold off sharply on Tuesday, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 turning negative for the year. The recent rout has heightened concerns over the path of the Fed’s rate increases. If rates rise too quickly, it could hurt the economy and, in some cases, cause a recession.
Wren said there are two things that will determine the market action between now and the end of the year. If there is “any whiff” of anything positive on U.S.-China trade and if Fed Chair Jerome Powell has a statement or says anything “a little less hawkish” during the press conference following December’s meeting, the S&P 500 can rally back into the 2,800 to 2,900 zone, he said.
However, Wren said he looks longer term than six weeks and he believes the fundamentals still look positive. His outlook is for good, not great, economic growth and modest inflation.
He said he likes industrials, consumer discretionary, financials and health care.
“We do not want our clients hiding right now,” he said.