Markets stocks

Stan Druckenmiller To CNBC: ‘I’ve Made All Of 3% In A 40% Rally’

“I missed a great opportunity here".

When last the market heard from Stan Druckenmiller, he came across as pessimistic and flummoxed.

“I pray I’m wrong on this, but I just think that the V-out is a fantasy”, he said, deriding the quick recovery narrative during a virtual chat with the Economic Club of New York last month.

“The risk-reward for equity is maybe as bad as I’ve seen it in my career”, he went on to declare, before noting that “the wild card is the Fed can always step up their [asset] purchases”.

Read more: Stan Druckenmiller: ‘This Is The Most Bizarre Process I Have Ever Seen’

That was on May 12.

Fast forward a month (almost exactly) and US equities are up nearly 12% on top of the ~27% they had already rallied when Druckenmiller called the risk-reward the worst in decades.

In fact, this is now on track to be the most spectacular bear market rally in history and it’s probably fair to say the Nasdaq 100, having hit a new record, is no longer in a bear market at all. Semantic arguments might still apply for the S&P, but not for big-cap tech.

The bottom line: Stan was wrong. There’s just no other way to say it.

And he didn’t try to find any other way to say it on Monday during an interview with CNBC.

“I was up 2% the day of the bottom, and I’ve made all of 3% in the 40% rally”, he said.

 

“I missed a great opportunity here”, he added. “Won’t be the last time”.

Probably not. Because Stan runs a family office now. But it very well may have been “the last time” in another era, because no matter who you are, you really (really) don’t want to be the person who underperforms the S&P by 37% in the space of 51 days.

Obviously, this says (much) more about the unprecedented (some would say “surreal” or even “bizarre”) times in which we live and trade than it does about Druckenmiller, whose place in the hall of fame was cemented before some in the Robinhood crowd were even born.

So, consider this just a little good-natured humor.

But make no mistake, it is funny. And Stan seems to understand that.

“Well, I’ve been humbled many times in my career, and I’m sure I’ll be humbled many times in the future”, he told Joe Kernen. “When COVID hit, I was pretty much of the view that there was a good chance the credit bubble had finally burst and the unwinding of that leverage would take years”.

Instead, Jerome Powell kicked open the door for corporate borrowers who would otherwise have seen it slam shut in their face. That, in turn, catalyzed record corporate issuance, which means still more leverage, especially if cash flows don’t recover or if the economy suffers some kind of nightmarish double-dip recession tied to a second virus wave.

“What is clearly happening is the excitement of pre-opening is allowing a lot of these companies that have been casualties of COVID to come back”, Druckenmiller went on to say.

If you’re wondering whether he’s still excited about Amazon (last month he gushed that the company “has made all of our lives better”), the answer is yes, but Stan sounds like he’s embracing the pro-cyclical rotation.

“I have still something like Amazon and Microsoft in my largest holdings, but I have the least growth weighting in my portfolio that I’ve had in maybe six or seven years”, he told CNBC.

Four weeks ago, he called what was going on inside the Beltway (whether at the White House or on Capitol Hill or inside the Eccles building) “one of the most bizarre decision making processes I’ve ever seen”.

Now, he says if Congress fails to deliver more stimulus in July (when Senate Republicans will decide whether or not to move ahead on an additional virus relief package), you could see another bad outcome in markets.

“If they deliver in July, you get one outcome. If they don’t, liquidity falls off a cliff and you get another outcome”, he said.

But he’s been wrong before.


 

10 comments on “Stan Druckenmiller To CNBC: ‘I’ve Made All Of 3% In A 40% Rally’

  1. runamok says:

    So, I’m not the only one who has bascially made 3% in a 40% rally. Ok.

  2. gdhalpha says:

    It seems to me that many very bright people have conflated the relationship between the economy and the stock market. Isn’t that silly?
    We now know there is no relationship between them except by occasional coincidence. H has pointed this out multiple times – these are or very nearly are “administered markets” because people with power and influence have staked their livelihoods to them.
    The V recovery is for the equity markets.
    The U or L or Bathtub or square root or Nike Swoosh shape is for the real economy where the majority of the population have staked their livelihoods, and it’s doubtful that recovery will be as strong as the equity market.

    It should also be pointed out again that the major index performance, due to the over-weighting of big tech, is even distorted relative to the broad market.
    So maybe it’s unfair to compare a 3% performance to a 40% performance. Don’t feel so bad.

  3. George says:

    The more you learn about the Markets the more variables you have to consider , ( especially when the rules are changing )…. The portion of the Business cycle that is still intact does in fact still progress and can tend to reinforce one’s past experiences, ideology , and preconceived notions,,,, I have always said this equity business is a life long battle with yourself.. I think we can easily relate with Stanley on occasion…

  4. Darkstar says:

    Lesson learned in 2009-11: the stock market has nothing to do with the economy.
    Lesson learned in 2020: the stock market has nothing to do with reality. 5 years of gains in 10 weeks.

    Heh, I’m up big from the lows, but “only” up 6% or so on the year, and I feel like a genius.

    One of these years, John Hussman will be right! Actually, he’s been right all along, I think, but going again back to 2009, I remember hearing, “You want to be right, or do you want to make money?”

  5. jyl says:

    If I read the article right, he’s up +5% YTD, which is 800bp better than the SP500, and presumably with far less volatility, so his Sharpe ratio for the period is great.

  6. “I have still something like Amazon and Microsoft in my largest holdings, but I have the least growth weighting in my portfolio that I’ve had in maybe six or seven years”, he told CNBC.

    Excuse me for a minute while I load the boat with growth, tech, and biotech/pharma.

  7. Still early. It ain’t over yet. Stanley may be the last one laughing yet.

  8. Vlad is Mad says:

    What you discover is that there is a link between financial markets and the economy . While there is near 0 correlation between this years market and this years economy, there is a much closer link between this years market and next years economy,

Speak your mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.