Despite the rough ride this summer due to international turmoil, stocks look like they're poised to continue their upward march, two market watchers told CNBC on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI), S&P 500 (^GSPC), and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) are on pace to clock in their biggest weekly gains in six weeks, after mollifying remarks Thursday from Russian President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine and an easing of tensions in Iraq.
"Stocks have been sloppy this summer. [But] we're still looking like we're grinding higher," Rebecca Patterson, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust, said in a " Squawk Box " interview. "We've stayed overweight [stocks] and ridden through a sloppy summer."
Alongside Patterson, Ed Keon, portfolio manager at Prudential (PRU)'s QMA Financial, said investors should not ignore Ukraine and Iraq. "But as long as you still have the economic engine working and you still have companies generating profits, the stock market is going to want to go higher," he said.
Stocks are not necessarily cheap, he continued, describing them as "fairly valued."
Both analysts said they're watching the economic slowdown in Europe closely and pulling back on investments there. New data Thursday showed stagnation in euro zone economic growth in the second quarter, as Germany's economy contracted for the first time in over a year and France's economy stalled.
With European growth slowing, Keon is seeking safer shores in American companies. "The United States is kind of like a growth stock. You're paying a little bit of a premium, but you're getting [surety] of earnings and you have a better overall macroeconomic background."
Patterson is optimistic about the U.S. economic picture, despite lowered earnings and sales outlooks from Wal-Mart (WMT) and Macy's (NYSE:M) this week. To make her case, she pointed to low borrowing costs, increasing home prices and falling prices elsewhere. "The picture for the U.S. consumer going forward into the fall right now-knock on wood-is looking very good."
-By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere
- Australia International News