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Carl Icahn says he still thinks we are in a bear market despite Thursday’s rally

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It's still a bear market and the inverted yield curve is concerning, says Carl Icahn

Famed investor Carl Icahn said Thursday’s relief rally didn’t change his negative view on the market, and he believes a recession is still on the horizon.

“We keep our portfolio hedged,” Icahn said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell Overtime” Thursday. “I am still very, quite bearish on what is going to happen. A rally like this is of course very dramatic to say the least… but I still think we are in a bear market.”

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Stocks staged a huge comeback after October’s reading of consumer prices fueled bets that inflation has peaked. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1,200 points for its biggest one-day gain since May 2020. The S&P 500 jumped 5.5% in its biggest rally since April 2020.

Big bear-market rallies occur often because of the large short interest built up in the downturn, Icahn said. While the inflation report showed some signs of easing, the founder and chairman of Icahn Enterprises believes price pressures are sticker than most think because of wage increases.

“Inflation is not going away, not in the near term,” Icahn said. “We are going to have more wage inflation. A lot of people don’t want to work.”

Watch CNBC’s full interview with Icahn Enterprises' Carl Icahn

The combination of higher interest rates and an inverted yield curve led Icahn to believe that a recession is inevitable, he said.

The consumer price index increased 0.4% for the month and 7.7% from a year ago, compared to respective estimates from Dow Jones were for rises of 0.6% and 7.9%. The Federal Reserve has been deploying a series of aggressive interest rate hikes in an effort to bring down inflation running around its highest levels since the early 1980s.

“I think the Fed did what they had to do,” Icahn said. “I think they came late to the game to raise interest rates. But I don’t think the inflation is over….I lived through the 70s. It took years and years and years to get it over with. You can’t wave a magic wand to get inflation over with.”

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