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One Canary in the Coalmine Could Determine Stocks Next Move, Market Strategist Says

Source: NYSE

Stocks are coming off a wild week.

The S&P 500 closed with a weekly loss of more than 1%, bouncing back Friday after heavier losses days before. Higher-than-expected April inflation figures triggered worries on Wall Street of rising prices and borrowing costs and a Federal Reserve that may have to act sooner to end easing policies than later.

Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments, closely monitored one 'canary in the coalmine' to determine whether the sell-off foreshadowed more pain to come.

"People are always looking for that signal to tell them what is coming next and the bond market is really that place," Fernandez told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday.

But, while stocks sold off, Fernandez says investment-grade and high-yield credit spreads were not flashing any warning signs.

"We're just not seeing a lot of movement which tells us that even over the last 10 days when we have had [Treasury Secretary] Janet Yellen come out and talk about higher rates, when we had a labor market report that wasn't up to expectation, inflation that was over expectation and all the volatility in the equity market, the fixed-income market spreads have really been contained," she said.  

The spread between 2-year Treasury yields and 10-year yields, for example, widened to just 148 basis points by Friday, up from 140 basis points at the lows of the week.

"That's saying the credit market is not concerned right now," said Fernandez. "We're sitting in a pretty good spot with a higher VIX [and] a steady bond market. That's usually positive news for equity markets going forward."

Fernandez says this pullback should be viewed as an opportunity to buy stocks on an investor's "wish list."

"We like the 5G space, we like data infrastructure, we like names that are related to internet businesses. So, for us, it would be something like an Nvidia, an Adobe. We actually like the credit card companies. We were looking at Mastercard and Visa," she said.

Nvidia, Adobe, Mastercard and Visa all fell last week and have underperformed the broader market this year.

Disclosure: Crossmark holds NVDA, ADBE, MA, V.

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