NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Equities picked up steam into the close, with the S&P 500 closing higher by 0.37%. However, the index ended the week nearly flat, down 0.03%.
Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of riskreversal.com, said investors continue to look for safety trades in large-cap U.S. equities and Treasury bonds.
Jim Lebenthal, CFO and CIO of Lebenthal & Company, pointed out there won't be much activity next week, with a lack of earnings reports, economic news and no real trend in the broader market. If equities sell off, he considered it a buying opportunity, specifically for stocks in basic materials, old technology and retail.
Steve Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel, said the S&P 500 could be on its way to the 200-day simple moving average at 1,786.Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, said she pays more attention to her investments in individual value stocks than to the broader market. She likes banks at current levels. Nathan argued that too many companies are only beating earnings estimates due to financial engineering, not sales growth. For their "back from the grave" trades, Nathan was a buyer of Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Grasso was a buyer of Twitter (TWTR). Lebenthal was buying International Business Machine (IBM) and Finerman was a buyer of ADT Corp. (ADT). Adam Parker, chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, was a guest on the show. He thinks the S&P can reach 2,014, 7% higher from current levels. He also said small-ap stocks are becoming attractive because the companies have more growth and M&A takeover potential. He said the biggest risk to equities is an economic slowdown. Finerman likes financial stocks based on a continued U.S. recovery and cheap valuation. She is long Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Lebenthal said he is a buyer of JPM. Pinterest is being valued at $5 billion. Nathan pointed out the company has no revenue but is still a platform that Twitter or Facebook (FB) should have bought a few years ago.