Gundlach Says Stocks to Fall Beyond Lows Reached in March

(Bloomberg) -- The March lows that the S&P 500 Index reached are likely to be surpassed in April as economic uncertainty further riles investors and stocks probably won't match recent highs for a long time, according to bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach.

"I think we're going to get something that resembles that panicky feeling again during the month of April," Gundlach, chief investment officer for DoubleLine Capital, said Tuesday during a webcast on the market and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 fell 12.5% in March, its worst monthly performance since October 2008. The gauge's decline ended the longest bull market in history.

The U.S. is likely to follow Japan, Europe and emerging economy stock markets that haven't rebounded to highs reached more than a decade ago, according to Gundlach.

"It won't be back to where it was prior for a long time to come," he said, "particularly on a real basis."

Gundlach also said it will take time -- and sacrifice -- for the U.S. economy to eventually grow stronger.

"We will get back to a better place, but it's just not going to bounce back in a V-shape back to January of 2020," he said.

Among his other comments:

Projections by major banks that the U.S. economy will quickly recover from the coming recession are too optimistic.The current economy resembles a "depression."U.S. economic and monetary stimulus will probably reach $10 trillion.Unemployment will rise to 10%.The dollar is likely to weaken as U.S. debt mushrooms.

In his prior webcast on March 17, Gundlach said there may be a 90% chance of a U.S. recession this year, the national debt could grow to $30 trillion in two to three years and investors should prepare for "en masse" corporate debt defaults and downgrades. He later attacked government bailouts as plans to backstop "greed and mismanagement," according to a March 19 Twitter post.

The $51 billion DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund, Gundlach's mortgage-focused flagship fund, lost 1.3% this year through Monday and returned an annual average 2.6% over five years.

(Updates with additional comments starting in fourth paragraph)

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