Guggenheim Partners Global CIO Scott Minerd, whose firm manages over $250 billion in assets, doesn’t think the stock market has reached the bottom from the effects of the coronavirus, and the economic impact of the outbreak could be much worse than previously expected.
The first place to look will be corporate earnings, Minerd warned, and that’s already starting to manifest in reports from companies like Microsoft and Apple that say the tech giants are set to miss guidance this quarter because of the virus, also known as COVID-19. Supply chains will also be impacted, Minerd said.
“When you consider the scale of the epidemic at this point, it’s hard to believe that we aren’t going to start running into major supply chain interruptions and also start seeing more pressure on earnings and free cash flow for corporations,” Minerd said during a Wednesday interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
And a significant outbreak in the U.S. would only amplify any issues already occurring, Minerd believes. According to The New York Times, there have been 60 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. so far, but no deaths. Once there are deaths, look out below.
“I think we’ve reached a tipping point here, and that is if we can’t get this thing contained soon — that is, probably sometime this week — then it’s going to come to America,” Guggenheim said. “And once it comes to America, then we have an even more severe problem on our hands in terms of earnings and employment.”
He isn’t seeing a buying opportunity, either. During the U.S. stock market’s second day of massive losses Tuesday, Minerd tweeted that “this is not a buy-the-dip market.”
This is not a buy-the-dip market. It is a don’t-catch-a-falling-knife market. https://t.co/qXKpb3fx3U
— Scott Minerd (@ScottMinerd) February 25, 2020
Tuesday saw the Dow Industrial Jones slide 879 points while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each lost about 3%. Wednesday’s markets saw some minor losses on the Dow and S&P 500, with the Nasdaq remaining fairly flat.
And it doesn’t look like the markets are ready to recover, either. Thursday morning saw the Dow lose more than 400 points, or 1.5%, right after the opening bell, before falling as much as 900 points before rebounding some. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down more than 2% as well.
Minerd’s projections for the year were fairly optimistic, with U.S. stocks gaining between 10% and 15%. He said he’s not ready to revise that forecast quite yet, but he is keeping an eye on it.
“The real signal to me will be if the S&P breaks below 3,000. And then at that point … I would probably start revising my outlook for the year,” Minerd said.
Minerd also suggested that investors wanting to hedge their losses should consider precious metals like silver and gold, or look into the bond market. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo President Darrell Cronk thinks the yield on the 10-year Treasury could dip below 1% due to everyone piling in.