David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management whose comments have been known to move markets, said it’s very difficult to be bearish on stocks right now and thinks the sell-off in Treasurys that has driven rates higher is likely over.
The major market risk has been removed, Tepper said, adding that rates should be more stable in the short term.
“Basically I think rates have temporarily made the most of the move and should be more stable in the next few months, which makes it safer to be in stocks for now,” Tepper told CNBC’s Joe Kernen, who shared the comments on “Squawk Box.”
Bond yields have jumped sharply over the past few weeks amid higher inflation expectations, which put pressure on risk assets. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed from 1.09% at the end of January to above 1.60% Monday. The swift advance in yields hit tech stocks particularly hard as these companies have relied on easy borrowing for superior growth.
Tepper believes Japan, which had been a net seller of Treasuries for years, could start buying the U.S. government bonds again following the surge in yields. The potential buying force could help stabilize the bond market, Tepper said.
“That takes a major risk off the table, and it’s very difficult to be bearish,” Tepper told Kernen.
Another bullish catalyst for stocks in the near term is the fiscal stimulus package that was just approved by the Senate, Tepper said.
The Democrat-controlled House is expected to pass the $1.9 trillion economic relief and stimulus bill later this week. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law before unemployment aid programs expire on March 14.
The hedge fund manager also said “bellwether” stocks like Amazon are starting to look attractive after the pullback. Shares of the ecommerce giant have fallen 9.7% over the past month, while Apple has dropped more than 11% during the same period.
A year ago before stocks really began to drop because of the pandemic, Tepper warned that the virus could be a game changer for markets.