Blackstone’s Joe Zidle says now is not the time to buy stocks, predicts ‘more downside volatility’


Joseph Zidle

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

Blackstone’s Joseph Zidle said Wednesday that investors should not buy back into the stock market yet after three straight down days to open the week.

“I think we’re going to see more downside volatility unfortunately,” Zidle said on CNBC’s “Fast Money.” “I kind of think what’s happening here is investors pricing in risk versus uncertainty, and they’re two very different animals.”

Before the coronavirus outbreak spread outside of China, investors were able to price in the risk that it posed to the Chinese economy, Zidle said, but once it spread to South Korea, Iran and Europe, stocks fell around the world as investors became uncertain about the impact of the virus.

Zidle said he was unsure how much of a hit global growth would take because of the outbreak, but that several countries will fall into recession.

“At this point, I would hesitate to endorse any estimates on the impact this might have on GDP growth or on companies,” Zidle said. “My own view is that we are going to have a series of mini rolling recessions, especially among those countries that are the most trade-exposed.”

Zidle said last month that he expected multiple 5% corrections this year and that his firm had 15% of its portfolio parked in cash. He said Wednesday that the global health issue would be settled eventually, but it could hurt companies for the next few quarters more than analysts think.

“From a company perspective, I think earnings estimates are still going to have to come down pretty substantially,” Zidle said.

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