- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
To “bond king” Jeffrey Gundlach, the market hasn’t simply been sitting still. It’s been coiling.
In other words, under a seemingly placid surface, the co-founder and CEO of DoubleLine Capital sees conditions brewing that could eventually unleash price swings upon a market so starved for them.
“One way or another, it’s going to have to break,” Jeffrey Gundlach, co-founder and chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said in an interview on CNBC. “I think it’ll break to the upside. If it happens, that will introduce volatility into the market.”
He’s specifically eyeing a threshold at 2.42%, a level that hasn’t been breached since March. The 10-year sits at 2.27% as of 1:14 pm ET on Tuesday, and has tested but not exceeded 2.42% on two separate occasions in the past five months.
“It sounds like you’re calling a bond yield-fueled stock market correction,” replied interviewer Scott Wapner.
While Gundlach did not repeat the phrase back to Wapner, he simply replied “yes,” before diving into his views on the stock market, as well as the CBOE Volatility Index – or VIX – which serves as a fear gauge for the S&P 500.
Gundlach made waves two weeks ago when he purchased some five-month put options on the S&P 500, calling it “free money.”
He expanded upon the trade and those comments on CNBC, stressing that the investment was less of a bear call on the S&P 500, and more of a bull call on the VIX, which has sunk to record lows in recent weeks. It traded as low as 9.52 on Tuesday.
“With all of the shorting of the VIX that’s out there, I think you could have a big shock higher from offsides positioning,” he told CNBC. “When we get whatever correction is coming, the VIX will easily go to 20.”
The way he looks at it, stock market volatility is so low right now that the S&P 500 only has to drop 3% by the time the options expire for the trade to be profitable. He thinks that should be enough to spur an outsized VIX move.
“I’ll be surprised if we don’t make 400% on those puts,” he said, before trotting out what’s quickly becoming his new catch phrase. “Going long the VIX is free money.”