Investor Cooperman says he bought during the market sell-off

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Leon Cooperman: S&P is reasonably, fully valued Leon Cooperman: S&P is reasonably, fully valued
8 Hours Ago | 02:43
Legendary investor Leon Cooperman said he bought stocks during the market’s latest sell-off.

“We did no selling and we actually put a little more money to work,” Cooperman, chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, told CNBC’s “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “Overall I think the market outlook is OK, and I think good stocks selection will be rewarded.”

The major stock averages fell more than 5 percent between Friday and Monday before rallying at least 1.7 percent Tuesday in a very volatile session. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite added to Tuesday’s gains.

Some traders attributed the market’s pullback to fear of rising inflation — which recently sent interest rates higher — computerized trading and sharp moves in obscure volatility funds that use leverage. But Cooperman said he remains constructive on stocks even after the sudden decline.

“Notwithstanding the craziness in the market, my only [outlook] change is that I don’t think the market has the 15 percent downside that I thought it had when it came into the year,” Cooperman said. This is mainly “because the economy is performing better and earnings are doing better.”

This corporate earnings season has been strong. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Wednesday morning, 78 percent had announced better-than-expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Recent data also point to further economic growth. Last week, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs last month, beating expectations. Wages, meanwhile rose 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, the biggest gain since 2009.

Cooperman also said he thinks the market could retest the lows made in the last few days, “but I think one would blow the all-clear signal.”

“Bear markets don’t materialize out of immaculate conception. Bear markets come about from certain fundamental reasons. It’s the economy, it’s the [Federal Reserve], it’s inflation and things like that.”