Bill Fleckenstein thinks the market is going lower, and the simple reason is that the Fed is walking away.
“There is no way on Earth that the S&P is going to stay near 2,000 without the Fed printing money,” Fleckenstein told King World News.
“[The Fed] tried to exit from QE1 and QE2 and it failed and the market tanked. Does anybody really think that they can print $US1.5 trillion over the space of a year and a half, and then stop and not have the markets go down?”
On September 19, the S&P 500 hit an all-time intraday high of 2,018.66 that it hasn’t yet regained, falling about 9% over the last several weeks.
Fleckenstein, who earlier this week told Reuters that shorting stocks has, “felt like putting on an old, comfortable leather jacket,” has been more vocal in recent weeks about the Fed’s policies and its impending QE exit.
The Fed has said that at the end of this month, it will end its QE program. Fleckenstein said that the market “has to collapse” until the Fed starts another QE program.
“Will the Fed make their move at 1,750, 1,700, 1,650? I don’t know. But there will be a place where the market going down will weaken the economy in the same way the market going up helped the economy, even though most of the capital gets misallocated, and the Fed will ride to the rescue.
“From there it will get very interesting because the question becomes: Will the Fed be behind the curve like they were in 2008 because they didn’t understand the situation? Probably.”
Earlier on Thursday we highlighted similar comments from Bob Janjuah of Nomura, also a long-time stock market bear, who sees the end of QE creating a messy and ugly period for the stock market that could send the S&P 500 to 1,600.
On Thursday, stocks were having another volatile session, though nothing quite like what we’ve seen the last few days.
Near noon, each of the major indexes were little changed.