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Since the beginning of 2017, momentum/growth stocks have massively outperformed value stocks. Over the past year, this long ‘mo’ trade further spread across sectors and markets as trade tensions escalated and global growth slowed. In short, this became a very crowded and ostensibly ‘defensive’ trade. As an example of how this momentum extended well beyond technology stocks, consider the materials sector and aluminum can maker Ball Corp (BLL). The shares are up 57% YTD while earnings estimates have declined during 2019 [top right chart]!
Each month, we publish our favorite long idea stock screens. They encompass many investment styles and themes including value, growth, capital creation, cash usage, corporate actions, dividends, and financial institutions.
We believe a number of uncertainties including the U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, and the fluid Italian political situation have driven the Eurozone’s economic slowdown. In an attempt to change the deceleration in growth, over the past few months, ECB President Draghi has strongly signaled that the ECB will restart a sizeable asset purchase program at tomorrow’s monetary policy meeting.
U.S. equity markets have bounced over the past two weeks into renewed trade hopes and economic data coming in not as bad as feared. We don’t believe that the rally is going to be sustained with U.S. tariffs poised to create additional drags on sentiment and spending. We continue to favor Defensives over Cyclicals and recommend owning secular growth stories.
This morning (09/06/19), the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its employment report for August with mixed results. Payrolls expanded by +130k in August, below consensus looking for +160k and down from a revised +159k in July. However, wage growth was faster than expected, the participation rate rose, and the unemployment rate remained at a historically low level.
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