Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman predicts US stocks will plunge 40% in total as the economy crashes into a recession

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman predicts US stocks will plunge 40% in total as the economy crashes into a recession
Leon Cooperman has a gloomy outlook for US stocks.Rick Wilking/Reuters
  • Leon Cooperman has said the US economy will go into a recession and stocks will fall much further.
  • The billionaire investor told CNBC Tuesday the S&P 500 would fall 40% in total from peak to trough.

US stocks have a long way left to fall, according to the hedge-fund veteran Leon Cooperman, who has predicted the economy will tumble into a recession in 2023.

Cooperman told CNBC Tuesday he thought the S&P 500 would suffer a total drop of 40% as a recession battered corporate profits. He said equities were unlikely to head back into a bull market anytime soon.

Investors have dumped stocks in 2022 as the Federal Reserve has embarked on what is likely to be one of the fastest interest-rate-hiking cycles in its history in an effort to tame rampant inflation.

The S&P 500, the US benchmark stock index, had dropped 21% this year as of Monday's close. That's taken it from a peak of just under 4,800 at the start of January to 3,761 by close of play Monday.

Cooperman told CNBC he thought the S&P 500 would fall 40% from its January peak in total. He said it was likely to fall to 3,000 before it started to recover — 20% below Monday's closing level.


The investor predicted the US would fall into a recession next year, either as a result of surging oil prices or because of the Fed's interest-rate hikes.

"My basic viewpoint is the 4,800 of the S&P is likely to be the high for quite some time," Cooperman said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I think we're going to go through a prolonged period of low returns as we try to right the ship."

Cooperman founded the hedge fund Omega Advisors, which he now runs as a family office. Forbes estimates he has a net worth of $2.5 billion.

Explaining his prediction that stocks would drop further, Cooperman said corporate profits — a vital ingredient in stock prices — typically fell about 20% during recessions.

Cooperman said a lot of the speculative froth was being wiped out of the market. He gave the example of the crypto exchange Coinbase, which is down about 86% from its peak.


"I believe we have gone through one of the most speculative periods I'm aware of, you know, SPACs and all that kind of crap that was going on, crypto and nonfungible tokens and stuff like that," Cooperman said.

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