Wall St Week Ahead Slump fears loom over US value stocks

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Value stocks, commonly defined as trading at a discount on metrics such as book value or price-to-earnings, have generally underperformed their growth counterparts over the past decade when the S&P 500’s gains, were driven by tech-based giants such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.  

Anxieties of a probable economic downshift are covering the view for value stocks, which have surpassed broader indexes this year in the face of surging inflation and increasing interest rates.  

That dynamic moved this year as the Federal Reserve started its first interest rate-hike process since 2018, disproportionately harming growth stocks, which are more liable to higher interest rates. The Russell 1000 value index is down about 13% year-to-date, while the Russell 1000 growth index has dropped around 26%.  

However, this month, worries that the Fed’s economic policy tightening could bring on a U.S. slump have shifted the rate away from value stocks, which tend to be more liable to the economy. The Russell value index is up 0.7% in July, compared with a 3.4% increase for its growth-stock companion.  

The developing transition to growth stocks is one example of how investors are adjusting portfolios in the face of a potential U.S. financial downturn. BofA Global Research on Thursday cut its year-end mark price for the S&P 500 to 3,600 from 4,500 earlier and became the latest Wall Street bank to predict a coming recession.  

The index completed at 3,863.16 on Friday and is down 18.95% the current year.  

Corporate profits coming in force next week will give investors a better idea of how high inflation has affected companies’ baselines, with consequences from Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, and Tesla among those on the line.  

For much of the year, value stocks were helped by wider market trends. Energy shares, which include around 7% of the Russell 1000 value index, aviated over the first half of 2022, bouncing along with oil prices as supply conditions for crude were exacerbated by Russia’s attack on Ukraine.  

But energy shares with crude prices and other items have tumbled during recent weeks on concerns that a slump would sap demand.  

A recession also weighs on bank stocks, with a slowing economy harming loan growth and rising credit losses. Financial shares denote about 19% of the value index.

Value stock advocates note many causes for the investing style to continue its run.  

Development stocks are still more costly than value shares on a historical basis, with the Russell 1000 growth index trading at a 65% bonus to its value counterpart, compared to a 35% bonus over the past 20 years, according to Refinitiv Datastream.  

Josh Kutin, head of the asset allocation, North America, Columbia Threadneedle, feels a possible U.S. recession in the next year would be mild, leaving economically sensitive value stocks primed to top if growth picks up. 

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