Rethink Holiday Plans and Buy U.S. Stocks Now, Citigroup Says

(Bloomberg) -- It’s time to buy equities again, according to Citigroup Inc. strategists encouraged by the resilience of corporate bonds in face of the recent stock slump.

More than 55 percent of S&P 500 Index constituents are down 20 percent from their 52-week highs, nearing the level reached during the equity downturn in 2015 -- yet a similar widening in credit spreads isn’t evident, wrote chief U.S. equity strategist Tobias Levkovich in a note Tuesday. Most of Citigroup’s metrics argue that taking advantage of the weakness is appropriate, he said.

Rethink Holiday Plans and Buy U.S. Stocks Now, Citigroup Says

“We are cognizant that many fund managers are reluctant to step up, especially given relatively light trading next week due to holiday vacations, but the opportunities are available now,” Levkovich wrote. “We would be adding risk to portfolios even as the internal fortitude to do so is broadly absent.”

The S&P 500 has fallen 13 percent from its September high, as continued selling pushed stocks toward their worst annual loss since 2008.

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