By Jennifer Ablan at Reuters
Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday that the rally in U.S. stocks, which began on Monday, feels like a short squeeze and characterized U.S. stocks as “dead money.”
“The market is not incredibly healthy,” Gundlach said in a telephone interview, noting recent corporate earnings have come in weak. Gundlach, who oversees $95 billion at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, said the S&P 500 index .SPX “has gone nowhere in the past 12 months to 18 months.”
On the Federal Reserve, Gundlach said it is still 50/50 odds that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates in June. He said many Fed officials are “dying to raise rates,” but that it is Fed chair Janet Yellen’s opinion that matters the most.
“All that matters is Yellen. She is still there. I feel like we are back in December again, where everyone thinks that there is a super secret that some Fed officials have this knowledge that the economy is really good.”
Last week, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said the U.S. economy could be strong enough to warrant an interest rate increase in June or July, reinforcing the drum beat from within the Fed in recent days that rate increases are coming soon. A range of policymakers with normally varying views on monetary policy are now stating a rate increase is possible at the next policy meeting in June.
Gundlach has been known for his prescient investment calls. Last year, Gundlach correctly predicted that oil prices would plunge, junk bonds would live up to their name and China’s slowing economy would pressure emerging markets. In 2014, Gundlach correctly also forecast U.S. Treasury yields would fall, not rise as many others had expected.