Displaying items by tag: breadth
Large cap value is a very interesting area at the moment. Over the last few weeks there has been a pickup in breadth, with gainers outpacing losers 2-to-1. Megacap tech stocks are not leading the market like they were early on in the recovery. That means the chances for broad market gains are looking stronger. With that in mind, large cap value looks like an excellent choice. Compared to small and midcaps, large caps are less volatile and more diversified. They do have more international exposure (which could be a positive or a negative), but on the whole they appear as though they have as much or more upside potential with less downside risk.
FINSUM: If you believe in a coming broad-based rally in stocks, then large cap value seems like a good place to be.
The last few weeks have seen good performance out of US indexes. Much of the credit has gone to the idea that investors were awaiting a new stimulus bill at any moment. However, why the market rose is actually less important than how it did so. One of the very worrying things about the market’s recovery in the early summer was how seemingly all of it was led by FAAMG, with extremely limited breadth. That is exactly what made the last several weeks so special—it finally broke that trend. Over the last three months the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (ESP) has outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) 13% to 10%. The reason why is that a huge cut of stocks are rising, not just the largest stocks. The last ten days have seen the biggest jump, with advancing stocks outnumbering decliners 2 to 1. That is called a “breadth thrust” and it is very rare and very bullish. It has happened just 29 times since 1990, and 96% of the time the market is higher 12 months later.
FINSUM: This does not mean the market is going to rocketship right away, but in general this has been a very solid indicator of rising markets.
You know the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats”? It couldn’t be further from the truth as it concerns the current stock market. The S&P 500 is just about flat, yet if you take a close look, 337 of its component stocks are down. The index is only being held up by a 1% gain from Apple and minor gains from the other 4 stocks that comprise 20% of its entire value. The lack of breadth has been a consistent feature of the recovery over the last several months.
FINSUM: Investors are not expressing any degree of bullishness about the economy, which would be reflected in breadth. Frankly, all the recent gains seem to be simple momentum bets on a small handful of stocks, making the whole recovery feel hollow.
Tech stocks and large caps have been getting all the headlines this year. There is increasingly a fear that only a handful of high-powered large stocks are driving the market. However, the reality is different, as small caps have been doing great. In fact, small caps have actually outpaced even the tech giants in appreciation this year. That is a very healthy sign for the market as it shows expanding breadth, which is typically a sign of a strong bull market that will continue. According to Bob Doll, famed portfolio manager from Nuveen, “Bull markets eventually end, and typically by the time you get to the peak, breadth is gone … This is a broad market move. It’s a good thing. It’s healthy.”.
FINSUM: We agree that this is very good news for the market. Even better, strong earnings growth has tempered high valuations, making things just a bit more reasonable.
Market breadth has not been very good this year. In fact, it has generally been terrible. Tech stocks have delivered virtually all the gains. However, one bright spot in this uneven landscape has been healthcare shares, and that seems likely to continue. According to Barron’s, “Positives in the sector include attractive valuations, upward earnings revisions, share buybacks, and policy tailwinds”. Drug price pressure is still a concern for pharma companies, but right now things look strong, with over 90% of companies in the sector beating earnings forecasts.
FINSUM: We will be honest in saying that we do not have much expertise in the sector, but demographics also seem to be a supportive factor for the long-term investor.