Stocks vulnerable to a 20% downdraft, investor Peter Boockvar warns

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Investor Peter Boockvar anticipates another 20% pullback could hit the market.

The Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment officer told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday that the coronavirus’ economic fallout is trapping the S&P 500 in a trading range.

“A lot of the bad news that we’re seeing now in terms of the numbers were priced in the sharp decline from the February highs,” Boockvar said. “[The range is] 2,200 on the downside which we saw in the third week of March and around the 2,800, 2,900 level that we’re kind of hoovering over right now.”

The S&P 500 hit its 52-week low of 2,191.86 on March 23. It fell almost 4% to close at 2,799.55 following Thursday’s choppy session.

 “I’m still worried about greater risk to the downside,” he said. “The pace of this economic recovery is going to be extremely slow.”

According to Boockvar, the coronavirus-induced shift will dampen willingness to spend money and, in corporate America’s case, a capital spending revival.

“It’s been such a dramatic experience that it’s going to alter household and business behavior,” he said. “The end result is going to be a much slower pace of growth which means lower earnings.”

Boockvar, a CNBC contributor, sees precious metals as his top play to weather the economic damage.

“What I am most comfortable in is a position in gold and silver in this world of negative interest rates and what’s seemingly unlimited money printing” said Boockvar, who owns both gold and silver through ETFs. 

Gold and silver have rallied about 16% and 22%, respectively, in the past month.

Boockvar also views cash as an important asset class to own in this environment, adding that it may pay nothing — but would give investors flexibility to take advantage of another downdraft.

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