JPMorgan Chase's forecaster says buy gold, not stocks

One of Wall Street's most respected forecasters says the market's rally is in trouble, and that investors are likely to do better by betting on gold.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 Index have staged dramatic comebacks from their lows, erasing or nearly erasing their losses for the year. In fact, the Dow's rebound may prove to be its best intraquarter rebound since 1933.

But JPMorgan Global Head of Quantitative and Derivatives Research Marko Kolanovic argued recently on CNBC's "Fast Money" that the strong run may in fact be in jeopardy.

Kolanovic, who is closely followed by the hedge fund industry, said that the rally since Feb. 11 has been more technical in nature, and largely motivated by momentum investors covering their bets that the S&P would fall.

That is, the popular trade of being long momentum stocks against a short position on the S&P 500 is being unwound. This comes as momentum names have sharply unperformed value stocks, leading to nightmarish performance for the long/short mix in question.

Since the market bounce has been largely driven by repositioning, he sees little reason for it to continue in a meaningful way.

"Although risk slightly may be on the upside rather than on downside, I would say fundamentally ... you [potentially] have 5 percent upside and 10 percent downside, so it doesn't look that great," said Kolanovic.


He further argued that investors should stick with the defensive gold trade right now, even after the recent surge in prices.

The Federal Reserve's more dovish policy outlook "should put some downward pressure on the dollar and hence should be supportive of gold."

In addition, the rising chance of Donald Trump's becoming the next president could also be bearish for the dollar, given the restrictive trade measures he has proposed, such as large tariffs against Chinese goods. "Generally, the U.S. dollar could be under some pressure if you have these types of policies," said Kolanovic.

Kolanovic's accuracy streak on the markets and policy has been burnished by his predicting of several market drops in the second half of 2015. More recently, he accurately called rebounds in gold and crude oil on the Feb. 8 edition of "Fast Money."

Since then, gold and oil have risen about 8 percent and 30 percent, respectively.