Doll, Sonders Sounding Cautiously Optimistic

Blackrock’s Bob Doll says current market valuations are providing a cushion that will help buoy the stock market even if earnings aren’t great. 

“I don’t need great earnings for stocks to be OK at these valuations,” Doll tells The Wall Street Journal. “We would be having a different conversation if stocks were selling at 17 times earnings.” Doll also says that the U.S. market is helped by the belief that it offers more safety for investors than other markets. “There’s a semi-safe-haven status for U.S. stocks,” he says. “Investors aren’t going to buy emerging markets because those economies are slowing, they’re definitely not going to buy Europe, but the U.S. is most likely going to be OK.”

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders, meanwhile, tells the Journal that the economy is avoiding recession. “Things aren’t fabulous, but they aren’t recession-like,” she said. She expects the economy to continue to be a “muddle-through environment”. Sonders expects volatility from stocks, but says “it should be a pretty decent year.”