‘Somebody has it wrong’ on U.S. recession risks as oil, gold and Treasurys diverge, fund manager says

'Somebody has it wrong' on the risk of a U.S. recession, hedge fund manager says

Markets are confused over the odds of a U.S. recession, and “somebody has got it wrong,” according to hedge fund manager David Neuhauser.

The CIO of Livermore Partners told CNBC on Monday that many investors are hoping for a “Goldilocks” scenario, in which the economy doesn’t grow too quickly, or shrink too much.

“The outlook was, of course, that the Fed’s going to look to be cutting rates because they see a soft landing approaching. And it looks like, on the surface, it is,” he told “Squawk Box Europe.”

Recent jobs data and inflation figures have boosted hopes that a recession can be avoided in the U.S. Nonfarm payrolls outpaced expectations in November, and inflation figures for October also beat estimates, with consumer prices coming in flat on the previous month and up 3.2% from a year prior.

“But at the same time, underneath the surface, you’re seeing a lot of cracks,” Neuhauser added.

He identified weakness in the U.S. consumer and the global economy — China in particular — and in the fact that inflation numbers remain stubbornly high in a number of countries.

“It looks like the U.S. is the best spot to be in, and I think that today that’s true. Except I think that [the] forward path — are we going to see things start to fall off a cliff? Or are we going to, sort of, glide path down and corporate earnings are going to be sheltered from the storm?” he said.

“That’s the thing, I think, people don’t have a really good understanding of today, but they’re believing that that’s going to happen — that’s the narrative.”

Oil and gas markets, which Livermore Partners is invested in, are “telling a whole different story” when it comes to the economic outlook, according to Neuhauser.

“When you look at the oil … and you look at the gold market, that’s telling you recession is in the front,” he said. “But when you read the tea leaves in terms of what analysts are saying, economists are saying as far as the U.S. economy — that the soft landing is approaching. That’s what, actually, the 10-year [Treasury yield] is telling you.”

Brent crude futures with February expiry were trading around $75.67 per barrel early Monday, down over 20% from their peak of around $97 per barrel in September.

Spot gold prices have soared from their early October lows of around $1,810 per ounce. The commodity was trading around $1,991 an ounce Monday, off a record high above $2,100 per ounce seen last week.

Both falling oil prices and rising gold prices indicate growing recessionary fears. At the same time, heightened expectations of a soft landing (following the strong jobs data) saw 10-year Treasury yields jump Friday. The 10-year yield was hovering around 4.254% early Monday.

“Somebody has it wrong here, is what I’m trying to tell you,” Neuhauser added. “It’s hard to describe who has it [wrong] yet. So I’m just really waiting and seeing to decipher what’s the right path to take.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *