| NEW YORK, July 16
NEW YORK, July 16 Hedge fund manager Leon
Cooperman, who has forecast that the Standard & Poor's 500 stock
index will hit 2000 this year, cautioned on Wednesday
that gains will be slower as the market is more fairly valued
"The markets finally found a fair level," Cooperman, who
runs the $10.5 billion Omega Advisers, said at the CNBC
Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference. "I expect
the rate of appreciation to slow." he said. The S&P 500 traded
at 1,977, up 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
He said the market was not yet priced to perfection, noting
the market was in a zone of "okay."
Long known as a stock market bull, Cooperman joked that the
last time he was bearish might have been when he had his bar
mitzvah, decades ago. He and other investors spoke on a panel
entitled "Best Ideas."
Cooperman listed Actavis Plc, Citigroup Inc
and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc among his favorite
picks, but cautioned he was generally slightly less optimistic
this year than when he spoke at the same conference over the
last two years.
Speaking on the same panel, Michael Novogratz, a principal
at Fortress Investment Group, listed his favorite trades as
sticking with bets on Japan and India. "Just stay long the Japan
story," he said.
He also said he likes Brazil and Argentina, arguing that he
expects political changes in each country that could underscore
But he repeated what he and other investors have said for
months: The environment for traders betting on big currency and
interest rate movements was tough right now.
Larry Robbins, who runs the $9.2 billion Glenview Capital
Management, chimed in that capital remained cheap for companies
looking to make acquisitions or buy back stock.
"Our single best idea is a theme: companies should be
levering up now," he said. Among his specific stock picks were
Thermo Fisher Scientific and Monsanto Co.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)