By Jennifer Ablan
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Financial markets could reverse their solid momentum at the latest by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, DoubleLine Capital Chief Executive Jeffrey Gundlach said on Thursday.
The strong U.S. stock market rally, surge in Treasury yields and strength in the U.S. dollar since Trump’s surprising Nov. 8 presidential victory look to be “losing steam,” Gundlach, who oversees more than $106 billion at the Los Angeles-based investment management firm, said in a telephone interview.
“The bar was so low on Trump to the point people were expecting markets will go down 80 percent and global depression – and now this guy is the Wizard of Oz and so expectations are high,” Gundlach said. “There’s no magic here.”
Gundlach had warned last month that federal programs take time to implement, rising mortgage rates and monthly payments are not positive for the “psyche of the middle class and broadly,” and supporters of defeated White House candidate Hillary Clinton are not in a mood to spend money.
“There is going to be a buyer’s remorse period,” said Gundlach, who voted for Trump and accurately predicted in January the winner of the presidential election.
“The dollar is going to go down, yields have peaked and will move sideways, stocks have peaked as well and gold is going to go up in the short term.”
Gundlach, known on Wall Street as the “Bond King,” went “maximum negative” on Treasuries on July 6 when the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hit 1.32 percent.
“I am less defensive now on Treasuries and I am less negative on the 10-year Treasury note at a 2.35 percent yield than we were at 1.35 percent yield,” he said. “Bank of America’s dividend yield is 1.39 percent while the 3-year Treasury yield is 1.45 percent. I mean, really?”
Gundlach began purchasing Treasuries last week and agency mortgage-backed securities on Tuesday, as yields have risen, he said.
The DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund, overseen by Gundlach, was up 2.12 percent and outpaced 63 percent of its peers for the year ended Nov. 30, according to Lipper data.
On a three-year basis, Total Return was up 3.46 percent on an annualized basis and outperformed 93 percent of its peers, Lipper data show. On a five-year basis, Total Return was up 4.11 percent, easily surpassing 91 percent of its peer category, Lipper added.
Gundlach, soon after Trump’s presidential victory, told investors to avoid exposure to so-called “FANG” stocks, an acronym that refers to Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc. He remains bearish on the group.
“People want something real,” Gundlach said. “No more on this ‘man behind the curtain’ stuff. Industrials, materials … people are tired of tweets. They want cement.”
Overall, Gundlach said: “It is so late to be buying the Trump Trade.”
(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang)