October 19, 2014 / 11:59 AM / in 3 years

Blackstone's Wien expects U.S. markets sell-off to abate

DUBAI (Reuters) - The recent slump in U.S. stock prices, in which the S&P 500 index has posted four straight weekly losses for the first time in more than three years, is unlikely to go on for much longer, one of America’s best-known investment strategists said on Sunday.

A man carries an umbrella in the rain as he passes the New York Stock Exchange October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Byron Wien, veteran investor and vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, part of investment and advisory firm Blackstone Group LP, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai it was unlikely the U.S. market would fall much further.

“Nobody knows how long it (falling markets) lasts and it always goes farther than you think, but I do think it’s a correction and not the beginning of a bear market,” Wien said. A bear market is an extended phase during which shares slump some 20 percent from their peak levels.

“Maybe it’ll go a little bit further, but it’s already gone down almost 10 percent, so I hope we’re nearing the end of it,” Wien added.

The S&P 500 was down more than 6 percent at the end of last week from a record high set in September, despite a rally on Friday aided by estimate-beating third-quarter earnings from blue chip stocks including General Electric. [MKTS/GLOB]

In an earlier presentation, Wien noted many of the factors which would indicate a recession might be around the corner, including inflated inventory levels and stretched company valuations, were not currently present in the United States.

Reporting by David French; Editing by David Holmes

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