Paul Tudor Jones says stocks could retest lows as virus peaks, but will be higher in 3 to 5 months

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Paul Tudor Jones speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

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Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment and JUST Capital, thinks the market should be higher as soon as three months from now despite what he sees as a turbulent month ahead.

“My guess is one of the reasons the market’s up right now is because of all the month-end rebalancing. The market’s front-running, it sees the fact that there are going to be a lot of equities to buy,” Jones told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “That’s one reason my guess is we’ll stay firm into month-end and then we’ll be challenged in April,” as the market digests a peak level of coronavirus cases.

“I think that could bring us to a retest, I might even bring us to a fractional new low. But I do think the stock market’s going to find a bottom once we get a peak in the epidemic curve not doubt in my mind the stock market will rally,” he continued. “My guess is we’ll be higher three or four months from now, five months from now, than lower there where we are right now.”

His comments came after sources told CNBC that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a call earlier this week with some of Wall Street’s top investors, including Jones, about the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak. Jones rose to Wall Street fame in the late 1980s after calling the 1987 market crash and is widely considered a pioneer in the hedge fund industry.

But the billionaire also spoke on Thursday about the spread of the disease and urged Americans not to panic or blow the illness out of proportion. He said his daughter contracted COVID-19, but that she’s doing fine and continues to work through her “mild case.”

“We’ve got to be careful not to mythologize this particular disease,” he said. “We’ve got to be careful not to mythologize this into the pandemic Godzilla. We can beat this thing.”

The investor noted that even though COVID-19 spreads at a rapid pace, its death toll on the U.S. is still a fraction of what the flu often exacts in any given year.

Of late, Jones has been focused on his relatively new JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF, a fund that scores businesses on factors including employee treatment and environment.

Goldman Sachs launched the ETF in 2018 using a model from Jones’ foundation, Just Capital, that scores businesses based on worker treatment, environment, products and other factors. At launch, the ETF tracked Russell 1000 companies including AppleAmazon.com and Bank of America.

The fund returned about 31.5% in calendar 2019, before investors began worrying about the spread of COVID-19.

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