By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
High-profile fund manager Jeff Gundlach has predicted U.S. stocks will finish in the red in 2018, in his latest bearish take on the equity market.
The S&P 500 benchmark /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.12% “may go up 15% in the first part of the year, but I believe when it falls, it will wipe out the entire gain of the first part of the year and end with a negative sign in front of it,” the DoubleLine Capital CEO said in a webcast late Tuesday, according to multiple published reports.
“All recession indicators are flashing no recession, which means it’s priced in,” said Gundlach during the webcast, according to a Bloomberg report . “This is why I say S&P 500 down after a pretty decent run early in 2018.”
Gundlach has made bearish calls on U.S. stocks for more than a year. He said in December 2016 that the “Trump trade” was “losing steam,” and he suggested in May that investors bet against the big S&P 500 ETF /zigman2/quotes/209901640/composite SPY -0.16% .
But so far, the market has continued to rally. The S&P 500 rose 19% in 2017, and on a total-return basis (which includes dividends), the index has been in the green for nine years in a row, as the DoubleLine chart below shows.
The bond guru’s downbeat forecast stands in contrast to the upbeat S&P year-end targets offered by Wall Street’s strategists. On average, forecasters from big banks have predicted the stock gauge will trade at 2,819 by the end of 2018, implying a 5% rise for the year from the index’s Dec. 31 close at 2,674.
People think bitcoin is anonymous and can’t be hacked, but he has a feeling that is not the case, he said during his webcast, adding that he doesn’t own the virtual currency as it doesn’t jibe with his “conservative DNA.”
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JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon softened his stance on bitcoin during an interview on Fox Business Network's "Mornings With Maria," saying he regretted earlier comments calling the virtual currency a fraud. Photo: Associated Press