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‘Sell everything,’ DoubleLine’s Gundlach says

August 1, 2016

Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, said on Friday that many asset classes look frothy and his firm continues to hold gold, a traditional safe-haven, along with gold miner stocks.

Noting the recent run-up in the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index while economic growth remains weak and corporate earnings are stagnant, Gundlach said stock investors have entered a world of uber complacency.

The S&P 500 on Friday touched an all-time high of 2,177.09, while the government reported that U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter grew at a meager 1.2 percent rate.

“The artist Christopher Wool has a word painting, ‘Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids.’ That’s exactly how I feel sell everything. Nothing here looks good,” Gundlach said in a telephone interview. “The stock markets should be down massively but investors seem to have been hypnotized that nothing can go wrong.”

Gundlach, who oversees more than $100 billion at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, said the firm went “maximum negative” on Treasurys on July 6 when the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hit 1.32 percent.

“We never short in our mainline strategies. We also never go to zero Treasurys. We went to lower weightings and change the duration,” Gundlach said.

Currently, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is 1.45 percent, which has translated into some profits so far for DoubleLine.

“The yield on the 10-year yield may reverse and go lower again but I am not interested. You don’t make any money. The risk-reward is horrific,” Gundlach said. “There is no upside” in Treasury prices.

Gundlach reiterated that gold and gold miners are the best alternative to Treasurys and predicted gold prices will reach $1,400. U.S. gold on Friday settled up at $1,349 per ounce.

Gundlach lambasted Federal Reserve officials yet again for talking up rate hikes for this year while the latest GDP data showed disappointing economic growth. “The Fed is out to lunch. Does the Fed look at what’s going on in the economy? It is unbelievable,” he said.

Overall, Gundlach said the Bank of Japan’s decision on Friday to stick with its minus 0.1 percent benchmark rate — and refrain from deeper cuts — reflects the limitations of monetary policy.“You can’t save your economy by destroying your financial system,” he said.

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