Coronavirus and markets: Cramer and four others on what to watch next

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Wall Street is watching for positive signs as states and cities begin to reopen from Covid-19 lockdowns.

Five market experts weigh in.

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” said the top stocks should continue to outperform.

“A lot of the stocks in the Nasdaq are for companies that do better in a Covid era. Remember, we’ve got many, many institutions with 80% to 95% of people working at home, and they require a gigantic change in the supply chain of work and the supply chain of work has just generated a remarkable new wave of the cloud, of hardware, of software and the companies that are really rallying for the most part are companies that do fabulously when you have to create new factories and the factory is in the home.”

Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investments, said a vaccine or cure is needed to propel markets higher.

“I think this part — the bounce — was easy to forecast. I think what happens from here again depends a lot on Covid so there’ll be a shift in focus from liquidity issues somewhere down the line to solvency issues. And if we start seeing. … If we don’t find a vaccine or a cure, if we don’t find a much better way of testing at scale for the population so that we can get back to work and we start seeing daily doses of bankruptcies and other insolvencies, then I think the market is going to have a much more difficult time.”

Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, sees a win-win situation for markets even with the economy crumbling.

“The key issue is that we are reopening — we are opening in a bumpy manner, and we’ve just got to keep focused but markets are completely divorced from this reality. Because markets have stumbled into a win-win. You win if the reopening goes well and you still win if it doesn’t go well because the Federal Reserve is in there in a big way. And I think that’s why markets are in one universe and the real economy is in the other and the real economy is going to get a lot worse. We already have two officials telling us that the unemployment rate is going to go north of 20%, and it is, unfortunately.”

Mark Grant, chief global market strategist at B. Riley FBR, is on the hunt for yield.

“I think what people want is some yield. I mean, one of the issues here while it’s very positive for the government, the Fed I think is doing a very good job implementing what they have to do in our very difficult situation. I really do – I compliment them. And it’s very bad for fixed income investors. Insurance companies, pension funds, retirees, seniors, and you got to be very nimble to try to find some spaces. My favorite space is the closed-end funds where you can get double-digit yields and you can get a monthly check. And I don’t know any other space out there, any other sector, where you can achieve that except for closed-end funds.”

Robert Peck, chairman of global internet banking at Barclays, said investors are looking beyond this crisis.

“Everyone was aware of — now more aware — of the carnage that was taken place on the country. But I think now what investors are doing is looking for that delta, that next change of information, you start to see some green shoots, and ultimately what can we look like at the end of the year, 2020, looking at 2021. If you think about valuations, you had 2019 PE was on average about 19.5. If you look at the PE today on 2020, it’s about 21.5, about two turns higher. I think what’s you’re seeing is that investors are actually looking forward to 2021 in a more normalized environment.”

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