Market bull sees new highs ahead, says don't bet against U.S. consumers

John Stoltzfus encouraged investors to remain optimistic despite this week's wild market swings.

The Wall Street bull, who serves as Oppenheimer Asset Management's chief investment strategist, said he doubts that the Covid-19 delta variant and Federal Reserve tightening worries will spark a significant downdraft.

"I not only think it can edge higher, I think it can likely see our $4,700 target for the S&P 500 by the end of the year," Stoltzfus told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Wednesday. "We wouldn't bet against the U.S. consumer."

His S&P 500 price target implies a 7% increase from current levels. The index fell 1.1% on Wednesday to 4,400.27.

"What we're going through right now is quite natural as a transitionary period. We're coming out of the Covid situation," said Stoltzfus. "The [Biden] administration has now moved to have [booster] shots available for all adults as of Sept. 20 … Now, that looks very positive for the economy and the reopening."

But in the meantime, it appears consumers are tightening their purse strings. The latest University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to its lowest level since 2011. Plus, July retail sales came in softer than expected.

Stoltzfus suggested it's premature to worry about delta's impact on spending and slowing growth.

"I'm not surprised at all that the consumers pulled back some," he said. "It does remain the main risk, but it would appear … we are moving towards it lessening as a risk. And, we think the market will recognize that shortly."

He also said he expects the market to take the Fed's tapering plans mostly in stride.

"Could we see some volatility? Oh, yes," he added. "But volatility … would be manageable and digestible."

Stoltzfus said he would use weakness to broadly buy stocks. His main strategy: a barbell approach that has a bias toward consumer discretionary, financials, industrials and information technology.

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