Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel sees a ‘short, quick recession’ due to the coronavirus

Jeremy Siegel

David Orrell | CNBC

Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel said Monday the U.S. could suffer a near-term recession because of the negative economic impact from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

“We could really have a short, quick recession,” Siegel said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There’s a lot of uncertainties.”

The confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in the U.S. have climbed to 88 as of Monday. U.S. health authorities have confirmed two deaths, both near Seattle, and New York state and city officials confirmed New York City’s first coronavirus case.

Stocks last week suffered their worst week since the financial crisis, with more than $3 trillion wiped out from American equities as fears of a recession caused investors to dump risk assets.

Still, Siegel thinks long-term investors should stand firm as the swift market correction took valuation down to reasonable levels.

“The long-term value is not significantly impaired,” Siegel said. “We were a little bit overextended at the end of January, so we are taking off that fluff. Now, I think we are down to the position where we have long-term value. In my opinion, stay the course for all the long-term investors.”

“If you have a lot of cash, I would put some to work going forward,” he added.

Stocks on Monday attempted to rebound from their steep losses amid Wall Street calls for stimulus from global central banks to combat the virus-induced slowdown. 

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