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David Einhorn says investors should be ‘bearish on stocks and bullish on inflation’

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David Einhorn

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn said Wednesday he’s keeping his negative stance on the stock market as inflation and interest rates could shoot higher.

“I think we should be bearish on stocks and bullish on inflation,” Einhorn said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.” “I think we’re in a policy now, which is probably pretty good for Main Street, but it’s going to be difficult and increasingly difficult for financial assets.”

The star hedge fund manager believes that the Federal Reserve could have more work to do to combat stubborn price pressures, lifting interest rates even higher than consensus expectations. The central bank has taken interest rates to a target range of 4.5%-4.75%, the highest since October 2007.

“I think that both long and short term rates are headed higher and probably higher than what people are expecting,” Einhorn said.

Treasury yields have surged over the past year on the back of a series rate hikes. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield on Wednesday topped 4% for the first time since November. Shorter-term rates surged even higher, with six-month and one-year yields topping 5% for the first time since 2007. 

“The Fed does want stock prices lower. They’ve made that clear,” Einhorn said. “I think it would be better if they cared less about the stock market in either direction.”

Einhorn just scored “an exceptionally good year” with a 36.6% return in 2022, thanks in part to his short position in a slew of innovative technology stocks like those touted by growth investor Cathie Wood.

The hedge fund manager said in a recent investor letter that 2022 in many ways was his best year ever and the period was most comparable to 2001, the year after the last tech bubble popped. He also revealed that he is still short some “bubble” names.

The widely followed investor said his hedge fund is net long by a relatively small amount and he has a strong conviction in the value picks in his portfolio.

“I have a pretty conservative view towards which way the overall market would go, but I’m very excited about a number of the positions in my long portfolio because they’re just ridiculously inexpensive and returning tons of capital,” Einhorn said.

At the end of 2022, Greenlight’s biggest long position included Green Brick Partners, Brighthouse Financial and Consol Energy. He previously said his hedge fund’s significant winners in 2022 included Atlas Air Worldwide, Consol Energy, Teck Resources and merger arb play Twitter.

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