Carl Icahn isn’t buying stocks right now. He’s hoarding cash, shorting commercial real estate and preparing for the coronavirus to wreak more havoc.
This is a time to be “extremely careful,” Icahn said in an interview Friday on Bloomberg Television.
From his home on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, the billionaire investor has surveyed the damage to stock prices — and to his portfolio — and reached out to medical experts for information and opinions on the Covid-19 pandemic. To Icahn, who at 84 has traded through all the stock-market crashes since the Great Depression, the future is just too unpredictable for the S&P 500 to be trading at 17 times 2021 earnings estimates.
“You cannot really justify that multiple,” Icahn said. “Short-term, you may have some big downdrafts.”
The market disagrees. Since the Federal Reserve on March 23 unveiled a series of unprecedented measures to support the U.S. economy, followed by even more in subsequent weeks, stocks have roared back 30% from their intraday low.