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Don't get in the way of the equities train, NYSE trader warns

Lauren Thomas

There was somewhat of a rally in oil prices today, so why didn't stocks soar higher too?

Investors are asking.

"Correlations are completely off the sheets these days," brokerage firm Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso told CNBC's " Closing Bell " on Wednesday. "You could see the dollar move, you could see equity moves ... for me, it's still about the politics of the trade."

Grasso said he thought Brexit would be the "death nail" for equities, but the market didn't play out that way. Then he thought President Donald Trump entering the White House would be the next "nail," but that didn't happen either, as evidenced by a rally for stocks into 2017.

Grasso further said he thought for certain the market would sell off on Friday, following the yanking of the Republican's Obamacare replacement bill. "But [House Speaker Paul] Ryan comes on [TV] and says: 'We are going to try again,' and the market rips higher."

For now, there is a pent-up demand by investors for equities, "so don't get in the way of that train," Grasso warned on CNBC.

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher Wednesday, with energy leading the group. The Dow Jones (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) industrial average fell about 40 points, with UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 (INDEX: .SPX) ended 0.1 percent higher, with energy rising 1.2 percent, meanwhile the Nasdaq outperformed, rising 0.4 percent higher.

Just a day earlier, U.S. equities rallied on the heels of strong consumer confidence data, as anxieties about the Trump administration's ability to push through key reforms were somewhat relieved.

Stocks are now on track to record a mixed month, with the Nasdaq poised for a gain of around 1 percent, while the S&P and Dow tracked for monthly losses of around 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

If you're monitoring U.S. interest rate hikes throughout the remainder of the year, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans is the one guy to pay attention to, BTIG's Holly Liss told CNBC on Wednesday.

"The FOMC is like a U.S. Air Force carrier," set out on a path — but a low path — and not in fast tightening mode, she said. The Fed's Evans said Tuesday he thought only one or two more rate hikes this year could be "plausible," while some are expecting three more increases.

Liss said markets should pay more attention to dovish members, like Evans, who are promoting monetary policies that involve lower interest rates. This is also likely why yields are lower today, she said, because investors are hearing less hawkish remarks.

Yields in the region and in the U.S. fell Wednesday. The U.S. 10-year note yield slipped to around 2.383 percent, while the 10-year German bund yielded 0.34 percent.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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