Eq: Small Caps

(New York)

Any small cap investor can tell you that the end of the year is not usually a good time. Small caps historically suffer in November and December compared to the rest of the year. However, 2019 looks to be shaping up differently according to the Wall Street Journal. The reason small caps are usually weak at the end of the year is that managers sell off their holdings and mirror the market at the year-end as a way of insulating their annual bonus (which is based on outperformance). However, in years where overall stock performance has been strong, this pattern is less obvious. So, given 2019’s strong gains, it seems like small caps probably won’t suffer so much.


FINSUM: This is by no means a guarantee, but it certainly seems like a more positive structural consideration.

(New York)

A lot of demographers think there is going to be a coming baby boom, as Millennials finally have children. There is some disagreement over this as many think the boom is already a bust, but the reality is that there is likely to be a lot of babies born the next few years as Millennials make a last push to have children. The parents are likely to be older, which means more disposable income, and more spending. Therefore, buying into baby-oriented stocks seems like a good idea. Take a look at Carter’s, Bed Bath & Beyond (which has a baby unit), and Children’s Place.


FINSUM: We think there will be a baby rush over the next five years as Millennials try to have kids before aging out. That presents an opportunity for the baby sector.

(New York)

If there were ever a small cap sector overwhelmed by their larger cousins, it would be in technology. Small cap tech stocks are so overshadowed by FAANGs and the like that one would be forgiven for not even realizing they exist. However, they do, and they may very well be a good buy at the moment. The S&P 600 Small-Cap Technology currently trades at half the valuation of the S&P 500 Technology index, way down from its historical spread. What’s more, profit estimates are healthier too. Calling small cap stocks “mini-fangs”, Leuthold Group argues that “the mini-Fangs offer a significantly higher growth profile at a substantially lower valuation”.


FINSUM: A couple notes here. Firstly, the FAANGs aren’t even really “tech” stocks anymore after the sector realignment, so the valuation comparisons are not perfect. Secondly, what is the catalyst? Leuthold argues that if the economy does a little better than expected then higher inflation will boost tech stocks. That sounds flimsy.

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