Charles Schwab chief strategist: It wouldn’t surprise me to see a full 10% correction

Finance news

The sell-off in stocks may not be over, Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist, Liz Ann Sonders, told CNBC on Friday.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see us in a similar situation as we were in January and February where you hit that kind of full 10 percent correction,” Sonders said on “Fast Money Halftime Report.”

Earlier in the year, the stock market suffered a frenzied correction that began in late January, and which it did not really recover from until April.

Stocks rose in early trading Friday but by midday had pared those gains and even turned negative for a while.

The action followed a sharp downturn in equities this week thanks to fears of rapidly rising interest rates and a possible global economic slowdown.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 545 points, bringing its two-day losses to nearly 1,400 points, or more than 5.2 percent.

However, investors should bear in mind that this is a midterm election year, Sonders said. The average decline in stocks in those years, post-World War II, is 17 percent, she noted.

“This would have been be a pretty mild one if what we saw in January and February was the maximum drawdown,” she said.

“The good news is you tend to see a significant bounce from those midterm election year drawdowns in the subsequent year … it becomes kind of a buyable low.”

President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for the sell-off, saying Chairman Jerome Powell is being too stringent with monetary policy and is making a mistake. He also said the central bank is “going wild.”

The Fed wasn’t the only reason for the market action, said Sonders. In addition to fundamental reasons like rates and trade, she thinks investor sentiment and complacency played a role.

“Sentiment started to get a little frothy again,” Sonders said. “I had multiple conversations in the weeks leading into the top from investors who had things to say like, ‘I just don’t see why you are pointing out the risks. There are no risks. The economy is on fire. The market’s on fire.'”

Charles Schwab has $3.56 trillion of assets under management, as of Aug. 31, 2018.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.