Jeffrey Gundlach, the widely followed investor who runs DoubleLine Capital, said on a webcast that the junk bond market has come under severe selling pressure ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week.
"We are looking at real carnage in the junk bond market," Gundlach said.
Gundlach also said it was too early to buy high-yield junk bonds and energy debt securities. "I don't like things when they go down every single day."
Gundlach, who has been warning that the U.S. Federal Reserve should not tighten monetary policy in December, cited a number of other asset classes that are signaling deteriorating conditions.
The commodities market has been facing monstrous declines with copper prices, as an example, down 37 percent since July 2014 while "the breadth of the equity market may be the worst ever." Gundlach characterized commodities as the "widow maker" of the markets.
Overall, Gundlach said it is "unthinkable" to raise rates with junk bonds and leveraged loans struggling so much.
High Yield bonds rated CCC are currently at multi-year lows, down more than 20 percent from their peak in June 2014.
Despite soft growth in the U.S. and weakening global growth, the Fed is "hell bent" on raising interest rates because it has said in many speeches that it would do so, Gundlach says. "It's possible the Fed pulls another Lucy and the football," Gundlach said, referring to Peanuts character Lucy yanking a football away from Charlie Brown.
Gundlach said market turmoil would be the main factor that delays a hike by the Fed next week, its first in nearly a decade. "If the Fed hikes, it will be a different world," he added.
The Fed could end up looking like Sweden's Riksbank, which hiked back in 2010 and 2011 only to have to quickly reverse and quickly slash rates, Gundlach said. The Fed "philosophically" wants to raise interest rates and will use "selectively back-tested evidence" to justify an increase in rates, he added.
Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital oversees $80 billion in assets under management. The DoubleLine Total Return Fund is posting returns of 2.53 percent so far this year, beating 99 percent of its category. The DoubleLine Core Fixed Income Fund is posting returns of 1.47 percent, surpassing 92 percent of its category. Both funds are overseen by Gundlach.
© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.