Here’s how billionaire investor Howard Marks is telling clients to ride out coronavirus volatility
After the Federal Reserve’s damned-if-they-did, damned-if-they-didn’t interest rate cut, it seems Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is getting some credit for what looks like a stock rebound on Wednesday.
The former Vice President’s comeback-kid performance in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries has put him in a good position against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race to take on President Donald Trump in November. But given the likelihood of a Democrat hiking taxes on big earners, Biden doesn’t exactly check all the boxes for a Wall Street hero, say some.
“The reason for the squeeze higher is most likely that it is a squeeze, the job now has turned to squeezing pockets of buyers and sellers in what is become a rangy and very volatile market,” Nordea’s senior macro strategist Sébastien Galy told clients. Others are, well, skeptical too.
It is a welcome respite from coronavirus angst at least, though that will undoubtedly return. That brings us to our call of the day from billionaire investor and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, Howard Marks. In reference to these market ups and downs, he said “no one can tell you this is the time to buy” stocks because “nobody knows.”
He thinks “some buying” right now isn’t a bad idea ”because things are cheaper. But there is no logical argument for spending all your cash, given that we have no idea how negative future events will be,” Marks said in a memo. “What I would do is figure out how much you’ll want to have invested by the time the bottom is reached — whenever that is — and spend part of it today.”
He said if stocks move up, then investors will be happy they picked up some, or if they keep falling, investors will have some money left and maybe the nerve to buy more. What’s key is accepting that the future is a bit uncertain right now.
Marks noted that major “stress events” of the last 25 years — Asian Contagion of 1997, the 2008-09 financial crisis, etc. — were all “gut-wrenching,” but “followed by recoveries that produced significant gains for stalwart investors.”
While a guess, the manager tried to cheer up worried clients by saying that ultimately, the coronavirus seems “unlikely to fundamentally and permanently change life as we know it.”
Dow DJIA, -2.94%, S&P SPX, -2.81% and Nasdaq COMP, -2.99%futures are surging, taking European stocksSXXP, +1.36% along for the ride, while Asian markets ticked mostly higher. China’s services purchasing manager data was horrendous. The yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.47% on the 10-year government bond is under 1%.
The coronavirus crisis isn’t hurting coffee futures, which are having their best week in years thanks to rainy Brazil. Here’s that chart from The Daily Shot.
And farmers are also pretty upbeat these days:
Toilet-paper economics thread:
No hand sanitizer, no panic. Make your own.
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