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US Not in Recession, Stocks to Rise: Byron Wien

Former Morgan Stanley chief U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien remains an optimist and sees the stock market rising by the end of the year, he told CNBC Thursday.

“I don’t think we’re in a recession,” said Wein, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners.

“We’ve had good news on initial unemployment claims, pretty good capital goods orders. I know earnings are going to be strong. Housing can’t get worse…It isn’t like you’re at a point where a lot of bubbles are about to burst. The bubbles have already burst. Things can get better because they can’t get worse.”

His optimism extends to the stock market. He doesn’t expect “a booming bull market, but we’re in a bottoming process here and stocks will be somewhat higher at the end of the year.” He finds stocks in the technology and energy sectors attractive.

The economy will improve as demand increase,s but “tax incentives and low interest rates are not going to create demand…You need some form of stimulus program,” particularly in infrastructure projects, Wein said.

“Innovation is one thing we’re good at and we have to do something to encourage those industries.”