Strategist: I expect a 'very rough' 2019 that may see US stocks tank 20 percent

U.S. markets, which have already taken a beating this month, could fall as much as 20 percent next year, according to a trading strategist.

Nasdaq and S&P 500 have so far fallen more than 10 percent.

“I do think we’re going into a recession, I think that next year is going to be a very rough year for markets and I can see another 10 to 15 to 20 percent, and a sell-off,” Horwitz said.

“I think we’re entering very rough times because of all these things that are going on, because of the weakening economy,” he said.

One of the big problems is debt, Horwitz told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford: “We’ve got way too much debt in this country.”

Total corporate debt in America had swelled to nearly $ 9.1 trillion halfway through 2018, according to Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association data.

Horwitz said U.S. banks are “probably over-leveraged once again.”

“We allow the banks to continue to accumulate massive debt and nobody realizes that the banks have been buying up loans from all these peer-to-peer lenders and some of these smaller lending institutions,” he said.

That may look good on their balance sheets — but only “for the moment,” Horwitz said.

However, the strategist noted there is “always” value in the market when asked where he would park his money in such an environment.

“I’m a big investor in commodities … because I think they’re very under-priced,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” As for stocks, he recommended investors continue to hunt for companies that are fundamentally strong and priced at a good value.

Still he said, “understand that they can go lower.”

—CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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