In a sign that is setting off alarm bells on Wall Street, the market’s safest stocks have been surging of late. Investors are increasingly demanding “quality” stocks as a buffer against a potential downturn in the market. “Quality” stocks usually refers to to companies with a range of positive characteristics like high profitability and low debt. However, market strategists point out that such stocks are so well bought that they might not have their intended effect, “Quality factors are well bid so may not be as defensive as people expect”. ETFs that track “quality” stocks have been surging.
FINSUM: One can understand the flight to quality given very high valuations and the hawkish Fed, but it is still a worrying sign that so many feel the need to take cover.