Long-time bear David Tice believes the market has become a house of cards.
The AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF manager warns unprecedented Federal Reserve policies designed to mitigate the coronavirus fallout is creating major damage.
“I find the biggest disconnect that we’ve ever seen in my 35-year history of watching Wall Street between fundamentals of the economy and the stock market,” he told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday. “Markets need to be markets, and we can’t have that kind of intervention.”
Even though Tice believes it was necessary for the Fed help the market and economy, he believes they went too far.
“There’s never been anything like this $3 trillion increase in the balance sheet in just two or three months,” he said. “This recent move as far as buying ETFs, buying individual not just junk bonds but now corporate bonds – we are truly getting to a place of moral hazard.”
Tice, whose role at the ETF requires him to employ strategies that typically benefit from a downturn, blames the Federal Reserve for creating an artificial playing field that’s driving speculative investing to a fever pitch.
He points to Robinhood’s meteoric popularity, a commission-free trading platform, as a troubling signal.
“It seems like the speculators, we have three million new users of Robinhood, have gone out and they’ve brought stock prices at companies like Chesapeake Energy and Hertz up when their debt sells for five cents on the dollar and 40 cents on the dollar,” said Tice. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”
Tice is known for his bearish calls.
On “Trading Nation” in 2017, he predicted the market was months away from a 50% or more plunge. He had similar forecasts in 2012 and 2014, but they never emerged.
Tice temporarily edged into the positive camp several months ago.
“I’ve been bullish for part of the melt-up because I certainly saw a melt-up at the ending part of last year,” said Tice. “Markets can remain irrational longer than men can remain solvent, especially short sellers, that’s for sure.”
He contends the latest leg higher could last from weeks to a few months.
But Tice thinks it’s dangerous to go long stocks or cut back on his gold exposure, an asset he has favored for years.
“We have threats of wars. We have the threats of the virus coming back,” Tice said. “We are going to have much lower earnings for some period of time. And, the market is now selling at a higher price than it was selling at before the virus as far as the Nasdaq. That’s simply outrageous.”