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NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, who runs DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday that investors should focus on capital preservation and avoid corporate bonds and Treasuries as inflationary pressures intensify.
Gundlach said investors have not shown an appetite for Treasuries, even as the U.S. stock market has plunged. Theres no bond rally, he said in a telephone interview. Obviously, it is not a deflationary bear market, otherwise you would have a bond rally.
The S&P 500 hit a three-week low on Tuesday, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell to its lowest level in more than seven months, down about 14.6 percent from its record closing high in late August.
Gundlach, who oversees more than $123 billion and is known on Wall Street as the Bond King, said investors should avoid investment-grade bonds. They are riskier because triple-B rated credit - the grade for securities just above junk status - has increased dramatically since 2008, from 20 percent of all investment grade credit to approximately 50 percent today, he said. Those companies are at the greatest risk of a downgrade when the next economic downturn hits.
Stay out of investment grade bonds, Gundlach said. Because when rates start to rise in earnest, God forbid you get a downgrade. Its amazing how people have been copasetic about the credit situation.
Gundlach said the severe selling pressure in U.S. stock markets has not been accompanied by higher volatility. We dont have anything resembling a panic low which means stocks have further to go, he said.
Its amazing how low the market is and how low the VIX is," Gundlach said, referring to Wall Street's volatility index. "Weirdly, with the sell-off, the market is overbought. (Reporting by Jennifer Ablan Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan Grebler)