Billionaire Omega Advisors CEO Leon Cooperman said Thursday the market is currently in a “zone of fair value” during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” and a big rally from this point could signal the end of the record bull market.
Cooperman warned that if the market moves significantly higher, that could signal the “close-out move,” or a melt up, is at hand.
The S&P 500 opened at a record high 2,949 on Thursday and was up 19 points, or 0.7%, to 2,945 around 11 a.m. on the East Coast, drawing a presidential tweet of approval from Donald Trump.
S&P opens at Record High!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
The S&P 500 closed at 2,926 on Wednesday, just 19 points shy of its all-time record closing of 2,945 on April 30. The index’s intraday record high is 2,954, reached on May 1.
Cooperman said an increase to 3,100 in the near term — 6% above Wednesday’s close — would be “knocking on the door of euphoria,” Cooperman said before adding, “I’d be reducing my exposure.”
Cooperman said that he’s now “enjoying” the move upward, with about 75% invested in the market and the rest in fixed income.
He also questions why Wall Street and Trump are looking for a cut to the Fed’s benchmark interest rate while the market is at/near record highs, describing the money has been too easy and the monetary policy as “inappropriate.”
The Fed announced no rate cut after its two-day meeting this week, signaling it is ready to cut rates down the road should things start to go south with the economy.
Cooperman said the interest rate in his mind should be about 3%, well above the current rate of 2.25% to 2.5% after the central bank raised rates four times in 2018 in quarter-point increments.
Trump “wants everything good now,” Cooperman said, and his administration’s policies are pulling demand forward.
Trump of course has been haranguing the Fed for months now, all but demanding an interest rate cut, and for the central bank to restart quantitative easing while blasting the policies of Chair Jay Powell.