Market Insights from Omega’s Cooperman and Einhorn

Leon Cooperman and Steven Einhorn of Omega Advisors have worked together for 40 years and have nearly 100 years of investment experience between them, according to an article in Barron’s that shares highlights of an interview with the two moguls.

Cooperman and Einhorn “expect the bull market in U.S. equities to run for a while longer,” the article reports, “given relatively friendly valuations and Federal Reserve policy.” Bonds are another story, however. In the interview, the men share insights regarding their outlook for the markets—Einhorn studies the global economy and monetary and fiscal policy trends while Cooperman focuses on company fundamentals.

Here are some highlights:

  • Einhorn says that there are no signals for an imminent recession. “We don’t see many signs of euphoria. Investment flows have been going into bond funds, not equities.” He adds that although the Fed is raising rates, it is “friendly” and that while market valuation is above average, it is quite low relative to interest rates.
  • Regarding foreign markets, Cooperman says that the euro zone and Japan look attractive. Japan’s economy, he says, is growing by 1% to 2%, earnings are increasing, and Japan has a zero-interest-rate policy. The European Central Bank won’t raise interest rates until the latter part of 2019. The challenge there, he argues, is geopolitical.
  • Fixed income securities are not as attractive as equities, Einhorn argues. “Having said that,” he adds, “the increase in the 10-year yield will be modest rather than sizeable.”
  • When it comes to stocks, Cooperman points out that both men are value investors. “Our game is to find more growth or yield, more underlying asset value, and a lower valuation than the S&P.”
  • Hedge funds, Einhorn says, have the ability to outperform. During quantitative easing, he says, they underperformed due to low volatility and a high correlation of stocks within the markets, “making stock-selection outperformance difficult.” He concludes, “We’re on the doorstep of active investing doing better than passive.”