December 18, 2020
Review the latest portfolio strategy commentary from Mike Gibbs, managing director of Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy.
Equity markets continue their advance to begin the new year, as investor focus remains on the potential for vaccines to allow a reopening as 2021 progresses along with higher odds of increased stimulus as a result of the Democratic sweep. The outcome is a net positive for potential economic growth this year, and consequently enhances the reflation trade already underway. The small caps are likely to extend their momentum, as increased fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending benefit these US-centric companies. It also likely extends rotation within the S&P 500, as interest rates and the yield curve break out to new recovery highs. The most economically- sensitive areas were the largest gainers on the Georgia Senate runoff results. These areas- small caps, energy, financials, equal-weight consumer discretionary, materials, and industrials- are now up over 35%, 42%, 28%, 22%, 21%, and 18% respectively since the end of October.
Technical momentum remains strong in these areas, a trend that we believe can continue. However, performance has gotten stretched and markets do not often move in straight lines. We, therefore, believe it is important to maintain a healthy allocation to the areas operating best through the pandemic while also continuing to accumulate areas with the greatest leverage to the economic recovery- resulting in a balanced, but pro-cyclical approach to portfolio positioning.
Valuation remains lofty at 27.5x P/E, as investors discount low interest rates and the economic recovery. We are encouraged by the increased chances of higher fiscal stimulus, along with an accommodative Fed, to support economic growth in the year ahead; but the rise in interest rates needs to be monitored. Higher bond yields (albeit still at low levels) have some short term momentum, but we do not believe they will go significantly higher with central banks desiring low rates and US rates substantially higher than global peers. Also, the relationship between potential higher spending and higher taxes will be an important variable to valuation in the year ahead. We maintain our base case P/E multiple assumption of 23x (-16% compression) as we balance all of these factors.
As valuation multiples begin to normalize in 2021, earnings growth will be the necessary driver of market returns in our view. We have an above consensus view on earnings growth this year and use a S&P 500 EPS estimate of $175 (29% EPS growth)- resulting in a base case 2021 S&P 500 target of 4025. But while we are positive on equities over the next 12 months, we would not be surprised for the road to be bumpy along the way with key questions surrounding the ongoing virus surge, vaccine capacity and distribution, timing and size of stimulus, potential tax changes, and pace of the economic recovery.
IMPORTANT INVESTOR DISCLOSURES
This material is being provided for informational purposes only. Expressions of opinion are provided as of the date above and subject to change. Any information should not be deemed a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security. Certain information has been obtained from third-party sources we consider reliable, but we do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete. This report is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material and does not include all available data necessary for making an investment decision. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.
Links to third-party websites are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or the collection or use of information regarding any websites users and/or members.
This report is provided to clients of Raymond James only for your personal, noncommercial use. Except as expressly authorized by Raymond James, you may not copy, reproduce, transmit, sell, display, distribute, publish, broadcast, circulate, modify, disseminate, or commercially exploit the information contained in this report, in printed, electronic, or any other form, in any manner, without the prior express written consent of Raymond James. You also agree not to use the information provided in this report for any unlawful purpose. This report and its contents are the property of Raymond James and are protected by applicable copyright, trade secret, or other intellectual property laws (of the United States and other countries). United States law, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 501 et seq, provides for civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement. No copyright claimed in incorporated U.S. government works.
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ.
The NASDAQ Composite is a stock market index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market.
The MSCI World All Cap Index captures large, mid, small and micro-cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries. With 11,732 constituents, the index is comprehensive, covering approximately 99% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.
MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australasia, and Far East) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed market equity performance, excluding the United States & Canada. The EAFE consists of the country indices of 21 developed nations.
MSCI Emerging Markets Index is designed to measure equity market performance in 23 emerging market countries. The index’s three largest industries are materials, energy, and banks.
Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.
For clients in the United Kingdom:
For clients of Raymond James Financial International Limited (RJFI): This document and any investment to which this document relates is intended for the sole use of the persons to whom it is addressed, being persons who are Eligible Counterparties or Professional Clients as described in the FCA rules or persons described in Articles 19(5) (Investment professionals) or 49(2) (high net worth companies, unincorporated associations, etc.) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended)or any other person to whom this promotion may lawfully be directed. It is not intended to be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and may not be relied upon by such persons and is, therefore, not intended for private individuals or those who would be classified as Retail Clients.
For clients of Raymond James Investment Services, Ltd.: This document is for the use of professional investment advisers and managers and is not intended for use by clients.
For clients in France:
This document and any investment to which this document relates is intended for the sole use of the persons to whom it is addressed, being persons who are Eligible Counterparties or Professional Clients as described in “Code Monetaire et Financier” and Reglement General de l’Autorite des marches Financiers. It is not intended to be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and may not be relied upon by such persons and is, therefore, not intended for private individuals or those who would be classified as Retail Clients.
For clients of Raymond James Euro Equities: Raymond James Euro Equities is authorised and regulated by the Autorite de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution and the Autorite des Marches Financiers.
For institutional clients in the European Economic rea (EE ) outside of the United Kingdom:
This document (and any attachments or exhibits hereto) is intended only for EEA institutional clients or others to whom it may lawfully be submitted.
For Canadian clients:
This document is not prepared subject to Canadian disclosure requirements, unless a Canadian has contributed to the content of the document. In the case where there is Canadian contribution, the document meets all applicable IIROC disclosure requirements.
Broker Dealer Disclosures
Securities are: NOT Deposits • NOT Insured by FDIC or any other government agency • NOT GUARANTEED by the bank • Subject to risk and may lose value
Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Raymond James® is a registered trademark of Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Family & Lifestyle Review your eligibility for benefits programs and get organized for the year. Winter...
Economy & Policy December 02, 2022 Chief Economist Eugenio J. Alemán discusses current economic...