Global investor Barry Sternlicht told CNBC on Friday he expects the stock market to mount a fast recovery once the worst of the coronavirus outbreak is over.
“This is going to be really bad, really fast,” he said. “We are using this as buying opportunities in the public markets.”
The founder and chief of investment firm Starwood Capital said on “Squawk Box” he sees a “V-shaped almost for sure” bounce for the market, meaning a quick down and a quick back up.
Sternlicht made his comments as Dow futures were pointing to a major move higher, one day after Wall Street’s worst session since the “Black Monday” stock market crash in 1987.
At Friday’s open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 1,000 points before giving up some of those gains. The S&P 500 was also bouncing Friday after the index on Thursday joined the Dow in a bear market.
Sternlicht, who has invested and run businesses through many financial crises, called the outbreak a short-term issue that “will be finished here, whether it’s 30 days or 60 days or 90 days.”
“I ran Starwood Hotels through 9/11, through SARS, though the financial crisis. Hotels came back. Everything came back,” he said. “This will be even faster because this is really a health-care scare. And all the bad news is roughly out there.”
Sternlicht said the economy is setting up favorably for a comeback, with low interest rates and low oil prices.
“It doesn’t cost anything to borrow money,” he said.
“Assets are cheap, like 97% of the companies that pay dividends in the S&P 500 are paying a dividend higher than the 2-year [Treasury yield] for the first time in history,” he said.
Sternlicht also pointed to falling oil prices, saying: “Oil is a big tax cut for consumers.”
“Government is going to do something. There are going to be stimulus packages left and right,” he added.
But he stressed the economy is going to get much worse before it gets better. “I’m expecting zero to negative GDP this quarter. I think we’re going through the floor. This is a global 9/11 in travel and hospitality.”
“I’m on the board of Estee Lauder. Their physical stores went to zero in China. But they’re online orders skyrocketed,” he said. “Their sales will recover.”
“I think America’s blessing is it’s optimistic,” he added.