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Omicron will end up being a good thing for the stock market: JPMorgan

Yahoo Finance US logo Yahoo Finance US 1/11/2022 Brian Sozzi

Buy the early in the year dip in stocks, contends strategists at JPMorgan. 

"Higher bond yields should not be disruptive for equities, but rather support our call for a growth to value rotation. We stay positive on equities and expect Omicron will ultimately prove a positive for risk assets, as this milder but more transmissible variant speeds the transition from pandemic to endemic with a lower human toll," said JPMorgan chief global markets strategist Marko Kolanovic.

Kolanovic says U.S. stocks are oversold at current levels. Despite that, the top strategist thinks buying emerging market, China and European stocks right now are the better near-term bet.  

"While the Omicron wave presents some downside risk to Q1 growth, we anticipate that cases will roll over sharply in the coming weeks, providing a boost to Q2. As this wave fades, it will likely mark the end of the pandemic, as Omicron’s lower severity and high transmissibility crowds out more severe variants and leads to broad natural immunity," added Kolanovic.

Some would argue Kolanovic's call (and other buy the dip calls from the Street recently) is akin to catching a falling knife.

The S&P 500 dropped more than 2% at session lows on Monday as investors took their cue from the 10-year Treasury yield's march to 2% amid inflationary worries. Stocks ended the session slightly lower. 

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite turned slightly positive, erasing earlier losses to end a four-day losing streak. Selling pressure continued, however, in high P/E multiple names such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Amazon and Palantir. 

Video: Why this investor expects 'more normalized breadth in the market' during 2022 (Yahoo! Finance)

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High beta biotech names haven't been spared either — the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF is hovering around a one-year low. 

Bitcoin briefly dropped below $40,000 on Monday. So far in January, the benchmark crypto has shed about 9% marking one of its worst starts to the year on record. 

Those not in the bullish camp — and there are many — believe the bond market is sending a powerful signal to investors. That is stocks look overvalued in front of a Fed interest rake hiking campaign that may see four increases to Fed funds this year (per the latest Fed call from Goldman Sachs). 

"I think the bond market is already showing enough of a recession indicator that by 2023 it's seems pretty likely. And I, like I said earlier, I don't think a lot of Fed officials, economists and investors appreciate the fact the economy keeps buckling at lower and lower interest rates. So I think the Fed only has to raise rates four times and you're going to start seeing really a plethora of recessionary signals. I think it's certainly a non-zero probability that you get a recession in the latter part of 2022. That's going to be dependent again on how aggressive the Fed is. One thing that we did notice in 2018 is the Fed stopped QE, they started quantitative tightening — letting the bonds roll off. And then they started raising interest rates and we got an instantaneous bear market," bond king and DoubleLine founder Jeffrey Gundlach told Yahoo Finance.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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