In a reversal of his more bullish take on U.S. equities in recent weeks, Dennis Gartman said Monday that he's getting out of equities and sticking with cash and gold to ride out the recent pullback, which he called a "long-awaited and much-needed correction."
On CNBC's "Fast Money" on Monday, the editor of the Gartman Letter said simply, "I got scared."
Gartman said that Friday's action made it seem as though a switch was flipped in the minds of investors. "The whole world switched at that period of time," he said.
That same switch evidently dimmed Gartman's view of stocks as well; he pared down his exposure to equities from an average of 100 percent, to close to zero.
"In a bull market there are only three positions you can have: Really long, pleasantly long and neutral. It's time to be neutral. It's still a bull market. You don't need to be short, but you don't need to be long at this point. I think cash is the right place to be," he said.
Gartman narrowed down the moment that sentiment seemed to turn to a brief, 15-minute window on Friday morning. "I'm not sure what happened, but something happened between 11 and 11:15, that everything turned on a dime."
In Monday's issue of "The Gartman Letter," Gartman said he couldn't recall "a time in our history of trading when we've seen such unanimity of trend reversals" as was observed on Friday. "Indeed, the changes were material enough and important enough to mandate that action be taken to reduce our exposure to everything we have on, save for positions in gold," he said.