After Successful Short Plays in '08, Leuthold Now Bullish on U.S. Stocks

Another top strategist who made a bundle by shorting stocks in 2008 is now predicting big gains for U.S. equities in the near future.

Steve Leuthold, manager of the Grizzly Short Fund, told Bloomberg recently that he thinks the S&P 500 will reach 1,100 by year-end. “This market was about as cheap as I’ve seen in my 45 years in this business,” said Leuthold, whose fund gained 74% last year as the markets tanked. “We’re probably going to see the economy start turning upward, not now but toward the end of the year. The market is a lead economic indicator, so the time clock is about right for the market to turn up.”

Leuthold, who says most investors should have about 65% of their assets in stocks, is high on tech and biotech stocks, and says he thinks the largest U.S. firms are more undervalued than the smallest, Bloomberg reported. He doesn’t like “defensive” consumer stocks and utilities right now — and he does not think financials will lead the market back.

In addition, because of the massive liquidity boost the government has given the economy, Leuthold says he started buying gold about four weeks ago as a way to handle potential inflation. He advises that investors do the same over the next year or so.

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