“‘You can’t think of a worse environment than where we are right now for financial assets…Clearly you don’t want to own bonds and stocks.’”
That cheery conclusion comes courtesy of Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire investor who famously called the 1987 stock market crash and who had previously raised alarm over mounting inflation pressures.
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, the hedge-fund manager said investors are in “uncharted” territory that should make capital preservation their top priority. The inflation backdrop is reminiscent of the 1970s, presenting challenges and raising questions about whether the current period is one in which investors will be “actually trying to make money.”
Stocks have stumbled in 2022 as Treasury yields have soared from low levels, with investors attempting to get a grip on a Federal Reserve policy that is now expected to deliver outsize interest rate increases and rapidly shrink its balance sheet as it plays catchup with inflation running at a four-decade high. Investors increasingly fear the backdrop could lead to a recession as the Fed tightens monetary policy in an effort to get inflation under control.
Rising yields have taken a particular toll on technology and other growth stocks, with the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.22% down nearly 20% year to date through Monday and more than 20% below its November record finish, leaving it in a bear market. The S&P 500 was down 12.8% so far this year and slipped back into a market correction last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.20% was off 9% year to date.