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Markets Rally Despite Economic Uncertainty in the United States
Markets have rallied this year despite economic uncertainty in the United States. The S & P 500 is up around 10% so far this year, while the Nasdaq has soared about 24%. But only a few stocks — namely mega-cap tech — are responsible for most of the gains, according to analysts.
“At current levels, we believe the broader markets are pricey, especially given the earnings decline that is expected in first- and second-quarter earnings reports,” Michael Landsberg, chief investment officer at Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management, told AsumeTech’s “Street Signs Asia” last week.
Some analysts, however, believe some parts of the markets are still worth buying. The market is so far “very focused” on the prospect of a recession caused by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy, said Charles Bobrinskoy, head of investment group at Ariel Investments. “As a result, anything cyclical is cheap,” he added. “[But] we are very close to the end of Fed interest rate increases. When the market becomes convinced of no more rate increases, we could get a rally in cyclical names.”
In fact, some analysts and portfolio managers recently named stocks that are still cheap, including some in the tech sector. “We are using short term volatility as a buying opportunity,” said Adam Coons, chief portfolio manager at Winthrop Capital Management, in a Monday note sent to AsumeTech.
One stock he named was U.S. semiconductor firm Qualcomm. Chipmakers have been popular among investors as a play on AI, and Qualcomm has made developments in the application of the internet of things. “QCOM has lagged other chipmakers and the valuation is just too cheap on a relative basis given the growth possibilities for QCOM over the next 5 years,” Coons said.
Bobrinskoy named three stocks with price-to-earnings ratios trading at under 10. One of them is American auto supplier BorgWarner, whose P/E ratio is eight. He said BorgWarner is very well positioned for the electric vehicle play. The second is Bank of Oklahoma, which is trading at nine times earnings. “Excellent position in western states where energy business is very strong. Regional banks have been unfairly punished,” said Bobrinskoy. Finally, he recommended Goldman Sachs, whose P/E ratio is eight. “What’s not cheap — our growth stocks and tech stocks and they’ve had a massive rally here … And those stocks are trading at multiples of in excess of 30 times earnings,” he told AsumeTech’s “Street Signs Asia” last week. “So we would say don’t buy what’s in favor — tech and growth. Look at what’s out of favor — value stocks, and particularly cyclical stocks.”