Weekly Market Guide
Review the latest portfolio strategy commentary from Mike Gibbs, managing director of Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy.
The bullish environment continues to prevail for equities, driven by an extremely rapid economic and earnings recovery, along with a Fed on hold. March retail sales rose by an enormous 9.8% m/m, boosted by $1.9T stimulus passed during the month, along with increasingly relaxed stay-at-home measures (i.e. spending in bars and restaurants is now within 5% of pre-pandemic levels). Retail sales are now up at a 34.7% annualized rate in Q1’21 vs Q4’20. And with the vaccine rollout continuing to ramp up (3M Americans being vaccinated/day), we continue to have a positive bias to the economic recovery as the reopening transpires, boosted by unprecedented levels of stimulus and a still accommodative Fed.
The strong economic data in Q1 is being reflected in a strong start to Q1 earnings season so far. Full Q1 S&P 500 earnings growth estimates have already begun to gap higher- up to 24.7% from 21.6% in the first two days. Although it is still very early in earnings season, companies already reported have beaten estimates by 38% in aggregate- driven by a 63% earnings surprise from the Financials thus far (on large reserve releases). For the S&P 500, these early reports suggest significant upside to Q1 estimates, likely to follow the trend of the past three quarters- that being historically high surprise rates of 23.5%, 19%, and 14.8% (vs the 15 year average of 4.7%). Additionally, forward estimates for all quarters of 2021 and 2022 continue to trend higher, supportive of our above consensus earnings estimates to 2021 and 2022 of $190 and $220 respectively.
A moderation in the rise of interest rates, along with strong economic data and continued improvement in corporate credit spreads, have been supportive of elevated valuation multiples lately (28x S&P 500 P/E). We continue to believe that valuation is set to normalize this year as earnings recover, but can remain well above historical averages given enormous stimulus and still low interest rates. Moreover, we believe robust earnings growth will outweigh valuation normalization as the year transpires, resulting in upside to equities.
Technically, the S&P 500 has continued to climb following its break out to new highs on April 1st (now 5% higher in April). Leadership has come from the technology-oriented and growth stocks during the advance, in conjunction with a consolidation of interest rates. While rotation continues to take place at the sector and stock level beneath the surface, overall participation is extremely broad with over 95% of S&P 500 stocks above their 200 DMA and over 91% above their 50 DMA. The underlying strength of the technical backdrop continues to be supportive of market trends. We expect pullbacks to be normal in nature and recommend using them opportunistically.
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.