Greece Weighs on U.S. Stocks; Correction Would be 'Short-Lived'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sick of Greece's debt woes? You're not alone. Wall Street is growing tired of the issues surfacing between Greece and its lenders, as the struggling country seems to inch closer to default. U.S. stocks are reacting poorly, with the S&P 500 down 0.4%, although the index has erased half of its losses from early Monday trading. 

The negative headlines about Greece will likely have less of an impact on U.S. stocks over time, Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show. These small selloffs give investors a decent buying opportunity, he added. 

European bond yields are on the rise on concerns about other countries potentially exiting the eurozone, said Joseph Terranova, chief market strategist for Virtus Investment Partners. Even German equities are down significantly as concerns persist. Investors shouldn't jump into European equities just yet, he cautioned. 

A correction of 10% or less would be a good buying opportunity and is long overdue, according to Stephen Weiss, founder and managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners. Germany doesn't want Greece to exit the eurozone, because that would strengthen the euro and hurt German exporters, which is likely what's weighing on the Germany's stocks. 

If Greece causes a deeper pullback, it's likely to be short-lived, added Sarat Sethi, managing director at Douglas C. Lane & Associates. Over the longer term, cyclical and financials stocks seem likely to pull the broader market higher. 

Not all investors, however, care for financial stocks, one being Andrew Wellington, chief investment officer at Lyrical Asset Management. His fund has returned 26% per year since its inception as he sticks to the simple strategy of buying one to two stocks per year. his portfolio consists of just 33 stocks, and when a new one is added, another one must be removed. 

It's a disciplined approach, said Wellington, who added that he doesn't like bank stocks because the companies tend to be difficult to analyze and the long-term earnings potential is difficult to predict with high accuracy.

The firm's lone new purchase in 2015 was Tenneco (TEN), which replaced Jarden Corp. (JAH), which became fairly valued, Wellington said. Rather than sticking with fairly valued companies, Wellington is looking for undervalued stocks. He also likes Aecom Technology (ACM), Anthem (ANTM) and Ameriprise Financial (AMP). 

Sethi says he's been underweight financials for much of the previous five years, but lately has found region banks more attractive. Valuation based on book value and price-to-earnings is incredibly low, he said. 

Najarian agreed, adding that while trying to predict the earnings growth over a five-year period is difficult, doing so for less than one year isn't as tough. He still likes the sector, especially with plenty of mergers and acquisitions, and with interest rates poised to rise. 

The conversation turned to Micron (MU), which is down 4.5% after being downgraded to sell from hold by Morgan Stanley. 

Shares are now down more than 30% on the year and the stock has clearly lost its upside momentum, Weiss said. Investors, however, "hate" this stock so much, it actually looks compelling on the long side. 

Najarian disagreed, saying he expects the stocks to see more downside for at least a few more quarters. The business is too commoditized, as increased competition drives down prices. Margins will suffer as a result, Sethi added.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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