Wall St Week Ahead-Strength in megacap stocks masks broader U.S. market woes
By Lewis Krauskopf
NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) -Investors are relying on an old strategy to navigate the current tumult in asset prices: buying shares of the massive U.S. companies that led markets higher for years.
Shares of the top five companies by market value -- Apple AAPL.O, Microsoft MSFT.O, Alphabet GOOGL.O, Amazon AMZN.O and Nvidia NVDA.O -- have gained between 4.5% and 12% since March 8, when troubles at Silicon Valley Bank set off banking system worries. In that period, the S&P 500 has fallen 0.5%.
Megagaps are attracting bets because ofstrong balance sheets, robust profit margins and business models expected to hold up better if recession hits, investors said. A recent pullback in U.S. bond yields, whose ascent punished growth stocks last year, is also buoying their prices in 2023.
But their strength could havedrawbacks. Megacaps' growing market capitalization means indexes such as the S&P 500 are increasingly driven by a smaller cluster of stocks. That could spur volatility in broader markets if circumstances change andinvestors make a quick exit from big tech and growth names.
"The view from investors is that technology companies are in a better place to get through an uncertain period of time,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Truist Advisory Services, which is overweight the tech sector. However, “when you have crowding you could see a sharp reversal out of nowhere because everyone is in the same area.”
Strength in megacaps also cloaks weakness elsewhere. Measures of market breadth have turned more negative, while the equal-weighted S&P 500 .SPXEW, a proxy for the average stock in the benchmark index, is down over 5% since March.
Investors are bracing for more banking sector volatility next week, after sharp declines in shares of European giants Deutsche Bank and UBS on Friday followed the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank earlier this month. Upcoming U.S. data on consumer confidence and inflation could also sway markets.
Megacaps led the U.S. market in the decade following the financial crisis and spearheaded Wall Street's blistering rebound after the selloff in early 2020 fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. But they tumbled last year, as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to fight 40-year high inflation.
Their rebound this yearaccelerated as concerns over the banking system spiked, and the combined weight of Apple and Microsoft in the S&P 500 recently topped 13%. That was the highest in over 30 years for any top two stocks in the index, according to Todd Sohn, technical strategist at Strategas.
The weight of the top five S&P 500 companies has rebounded to 21.7% from 18.8% for the top five stocks at the end of 2022.
As megacaps have rallied, some indicators of breadth, which technical analysts view as gauges of broad market health, have darkened recently.
The number of new 52-week lows on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq was on pace to eclipse new highs for three straight weeks, a reversal after new highs had topped new lows almost every week to start 2023, according to Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Hi Mount Research.
Further, the percentage of industry groups tracked by Delwiche above their 10-week moving averages has plummeted from 87% in early February to 7% in the latest week.
“After some hopeful signs earlier this year, it’s evidence that the pattern of weakness beneath the surface that we saw last year is re-emerging,” Delwiche said. “We need to see better participation if the indexes are going to be able to sustain the next leg higher.”
The performance of megacaps could suffer if banking worries ease and investors scoop up economically sensitive stocks that have struggled. The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY is down 7.5% since March 8, while the industrials sector .SPLRCI is off 5%.
A rebound in U.S. bond yields could pressure tech and growth stocks. Earnings growth in the tech sector, meanwhile, is expected to trail the overall S&P 500 in 2023.
Nevertheless, some investors are bullish on megacap stocks.
Despite last year's market swoon, "our bias has been that we think we are still in ... an up trend," said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments, who is overweight many megacaps.
In turn, he said, that likely means "the big-cap growth stocks will be the ones who lead from here."
Big stocks beat the markethttps://tmsnrt.rs/3nhSCob
Megacap stocks' weight in S&P 500https://tmsnrt.rs/3JCvmZo
Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and David Gregorio
Wall St Week Ahead runs every Friday. For the daily stock market report, please click .N
면책조항: XM Group 회사는 체결 전용 서비스와 온라인 거래 플랫폼에 대한 접근을 제공하여, 개인이 웹사이트에서 또는 웹사이트를 통해 이용 가능한 콘텐츠를 보거나 사용할 수 있도록 허용합니다. 이에 대해 변경하거나 확장할 의도는 없습니다. 이러한 접근 및 사용에는 다음 사항이 항상 적용됩니다: (i) 이용 약관, (ii) 위험 경고, (iii) 완전 면책조항. 따라서, 이러한 콘텐츠는 일반적인 정보에 불과합니다. 특히, 온라인 거래 플랫폼의 콘텐츠는 금융 시장에서의 거래에 대한 권유나 제안이 아닙니다. 금융 시장에서의 거래는 자본에 상당한 위험을 수반합니다.
온라인 거래 플랫폼에 공개된 모든 자료는 교육/정보 목적으로만 제공되며, 금융, 투자세 또는 거래 조언 및 권고, 거래 가격 기록, 금융 상품 또는 원치 않는 금융 프로모션의 거래 제안 또는 권유를 포함하지 않으며, 포함해서도 안됩니다.
이 웹사이트에 포함된 모든 의견, 뉴스, 리서치, 분석, 가격, 기타 정보 또는 제3자 사이트에 대한 링크와 같이 XM이 준비하는 콘텐츠 뿐만 아니라, 제3자 콘텐츠는 일반 시장 논평으로서 "현재" 기준으로 제공되며, 투자 조언으로 여겨지지 않습니다. 모든 콘텐츠가 투자 리서치로 해석되는 경우, 투자 리서치의 독립성을 촉진하기 위해 고안된 법적 요건에 따라 콘텐츠가 의도되지 않았으며, 준비되지 않았다는 점을 인지하고 동의해야 합니다. 따라서, 관련 법률 및 규정에 따른 마케팅 커뮤니케이션이라고 간주됩니다. 여기에서 접근할 수 있는 앞서 언급한 정보에 대한 비독립 투자 리서치 및 위험 경고 알림을 읽고, 이해하시기 바랍니다.