Full-on panic the time to buy; market hasn’t hit bottom

Wall Street veteran Jim Paulsen doesn’t think the market is necessarily done heading lower.

For one, he thinks valuations are high. Plus, there hasn’t been any real fear in the recent sell-offs.

“It’s always been really controlled and kind of calm throughout,” the chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group said Tuesday on “Closing Bell.”

“We never get a full on run to the Treasury. … You didn’t have a run into the dollar today for safe haven, gold hasn’t had a spike, the VIX didn’t spike up any higher really than it’s already been,” he added. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, is known as the “fear gauge.”

U.S. stocks sold off Tuesday morning but then staged a bit of a comeback. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 125.98 points after trading down as much as 584.62 points earlier in the day.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite, which hit correction territory earlier in the day, recovered slightly to close down just 0.4 percent.

Paulsen, who has been predicting a bigger correction ahead, said he’s not ready to buy yet.

“I’d like to see a full on panic, which is to me a little better entry point,” he said. “We’re going to have to go down there again and shake people up a little more before we see this ultimate bottom.”

Paulsen said the combination of continued rate pressure and slower growth continue to be a challenge for the stock market.

He sees an issue with a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, with growth pushing up costs — both labor expenses as well as capital cost.

“It’s going to keep the Fed in position to keep their process going and that’s going to keep pressuring things,” Paulsen said.

Plus, he believes there is an economic slowdown coming.

“It’s already happening internationally, like in China, and I think it’s coming here to the United States,” he said. “That’s kind of the message of what the stock market is telling us of late.”

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