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Jan. 18, 2020, 10:49 a.m. EST

This is the ‘worst thing’ an investor could do right now, according to one strategist

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

Green light!

‘The worst thing that clients and investors can do with the market at current levels is pull the plug and go underweight equities. There’s time left on the clock. We still think there’s room for this market to move higher.’

That’s PNC Financial strategist Amanda Agati laying out her mostly bullish stance in a recent interview with CNBC .

“We actually have a fairly favorable view for 2020,” she said. “I’d like to see this rally take a little bit of a pause or slow down... just for the fundamentals to catch up. But we actually think 2020 is going to shape up to be a pretty solid year.”

Agati’s optimistic take hit shortly after the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -3.56% topped 29,000 during Friday’s session for the first time ever.

The blue-chip index ultimately closed down triple digits.

“It can be very painful to get too defensive too soon,” Agati said. “We’ve had a handful of opportunities to actually do that, really since December 2018, and it would have been a mistake.”

Selling now, she warned, would mean missing what she expects will be a first half of gains paced by better fundamentals and earnings growth. The second half, however, will likely be more volatile heading into the election, she said.

By the time the ball drops on 2020, Agati sees a 10% rally for the year.

“Even though it may not be 30% from a return perspective,” she said, “we still think we can get a pretty solid result.”

Watch the interview:

Investors seemed to be heeding Agati’s advice to start the week, with the Dow, S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -3.35% and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -3.71% all poised to open Monday’s trading session in the green.

US : Dow Jones Global
-1,032 -3.56%
Volume: 458.71M
Feb. 24, 2020 5:04p
-111.86 -3.35%
Volume: 2.75B
Feb. 24, 2020 5:04p
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
-355.31 -3.71%
Volume: 2.75M
Feb. 24, 2020 5:16p

Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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