Gundlach: Risk of Junk Bond 'Meltdown' Remote As Reflation Narrative Fades

Apr 5 2017 | 5:24pm ET

By Jennifer Ablan (Reuters) - There is no risk of a high-yield junk bond "meltdown" because the risk of a recession is low, Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, said on a client webcast on Tuesday.

Gundlach, who oversees more than $105 billion in assets at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, also said he does not think financial markets will see 3 percent on the 10-year Treasury yield this year.

"With inflation falling in the months ahead, pressure for higher yields is reduced," Gundlach told Reuters after the webcast. "The bear case will need another narrative because CPI (the consumer price index) will be back below 2 (percent)."

On the webcast, Gundlach said his outlook on inflation may be supportive of bonds as "the reflation narrative may be fading" and inflation globally has peaked.

In early March, Gundlach said on his previous webcast that he expected a minor yield high on Treasuries, and then a rally. The U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note currently trades around 2.36 percent, down from 2.60 percent in mid-March.

Gundlach, who is known on Wall Street as "the Bond King," said he still favors non-U.S. stocks over U.S. equities because of the huge run-up in the Dow Jones Industrial Average  and S&P 500 indexes.

Gundlach said on the webcast Tuesday that because the U.S. healthcare legislation overhaul was derailed, U.S. tax cuts will be "really, really hard to get done."

He told Reuters following the webcast that repealing and replacing Obamacare "was always going to be hard to get done. But, yes, the first round failure to repeal is a negative omen."

Gundlach also remarked on one of Wall Street's biggest equity names, Tesla, which he called a "momentum stock."

He told Reuters: "As a car company alone, Tesla is crazy high valuation. As a battery company - one that expands and innovates substantially - maybe the valuation can work."

Tesla shares hit another record high on Tuesday after the company posted strong quarterly vehicle deliveries on Monday. Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk taunted short sellers about his company's surging stock price and tweeted: "Stormy weather in Shortville..."

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