Time is running out for a virus aid deal that’ll keep consumers spending, Crossmark’s Victoria Fernandez warns

Crossmark Global Investments’ Victoria Fernandez is concerned consumers may be on the verge of retreating.

According to the firm’s chief market strategist, many of them have been relying heavily on savings as lawmakers tangle over another round of virus aid.

She believes time is running out.

“If you look at revolving credit as a percentage of debt that households have right now, it’s very small,” Fernandez told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Tuesday. “It’s lower than average which means they are spending the cash that they have saved.”

She’s worried the situation will deteriorate as the holidays approach. Fernandez sees any leftover money from the $1,200 stimulus checks and unemployment insurance drying up without a new deal.

To keep consumers engaged, Fernandez contends either reopenings need to be more successful or another rescue package to support the consumer has to happen now.

“If you look at retail foot traffic over the last three months, it’s been very steady. We haven’t seen that increase,” she noted. “We really need that consumer to hang in there, and for that to happen, I think we’re going to need another round of stimulus — even if it’s a smaller deal.”

Fernandez, who’s responsible for $5.2 billion in assets under management, is advocating a barbell strategy that incorporates both growth and value plays to help portfolios weather the uncertainty.

“Have some of those tech names,” she said. “But also have some other names like a Wal-Mart, an Amazon — that would benefit from people choosing to do shopping a little bit differently.”

Right now, her expectation is lawmakers will pass another round of virus aid before the election.

“Both sides want to be able to be seen as supporting the consumer and supporting those industries that have been hardest hit,” Fernandez said.

Disclosure: Crossmark Global Investments has exposure to the stocks mentioned above.