(Bloomberg) — A “rocky” stretch for U.S. stocks is far from over, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes poised to fall into bear markets thanks to the Federal Reserve’s newfound zeal to undercut inflation, according to Jeremy Siegel, finance professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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The long-time market watcher said he expects more than four interest-rate hikes this year, a risk that “equities are not really priced for.” He sees a 20% decline in the Nasdaq 100 from the November record, implying a more than 7% fall from current levels.
“I don’t think the pain is over yet,” Siegel said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
Stocks slid precipitously across the board Monday before rebounding as dip buyers emerged at the close.
The 76-year-old professor also sees a bear market brewing for the wider Nasdaq Composite gauge. He says the S&P 500 will be mired in a correction — defined as a fall by around 10% — a distinction it reached on an intraday basis during the depths of the Monday selloff.
Risk appetites have taken a beating ahead of this week’s Fed policy meeting, during which the monetary authority is expected to signal a March hike in interest rates and a balance-sheet reduction later this year to help fight inflation. Traders remain resolute in anticipating the Fed will plow on with increasing borrowing costs even as riskier assets tumble.
“We’re going to see on Wednesday that Powell is going to be pretty firm and pretty hawkish,” the professor said in the interview. Siegel sees inflationary pressures in the economy persisting throughout the year and prices could rise another 7%, as happened in 2021.
A host of technical signals also suggests that more volatility may be coming. Siegel sees more fundamental challenges ahead, from the Fed struggling to snuff out price pressures to the spreading omicron variant undercutting first-quarter economic expansion.
“The Fed has to stop this excessive growth of liquidity,” Siegel said.
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