‘Frantic’ Move Into Financials Bodes Badly for Stocks, BTIG Says
(Bloomberg) -- This week’s rotation away from 2020’s top performers into more beaten-down shares is a poor sign for U.S. equity performance ahead, according to BTIG LLC.
Financials performed best among 11 sectors in the S&P 500 Index so far this week, gaining 7.9% in the four sessions, while information technology and communications services are the laggards. That’s a reversal in fortunes from earlier this year. The Russell 1000 Value Index has outperformed the Growth gauge by more than 3 percentage points this week, paring some of the 20 percentage-point underperformance during 2020.
The move “has a frantic feel to it,” wrote Julian Emanuel, BTIG’s chief equity and derivative strategist. While financial shares can keep rallying, the broader market more often than not declines over the medium term after such a huge divergence in performance, he said his study going back to 1990 showed.
The S&P 500 rose above 3,000 this week for the first time in more than two and a half months, and many think stocks now look expensive after a 35% gain for the index from its March 23 bottom. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Marko Kolanovic recommended Thursday that investors trim equity holdings given recent gains and increasing tensions between the U.S. and China.
Emanuel said he will be watching action in the next session to see whether Thursday’s intraday S&P 500 high near 3,069 might be the top end of a near-term trading range. While Fridays tend to be uneventful in summer, Emanuel said, this one is likely to be an exception.
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