U.S. Stock Market: Momentum seems to be shifting from tech-heavy companies to these stocks

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August 11, 2020 11:18 AM

Companies that would benefit most from an end to pandemic lockdowns led gains while their work-from-home counterparts trailed behind.

 U.S. Stock Market, dow jones, Nasdaq, tech-heavy, small caps, employment dataThe Dow Average has climbed 4.8% since the end of July, beating the Nasdaq 100 by 3 percentage points.

Bloomberg: The stock market’s stragglers are staging a comeback as traders ditch the technology titans that have led this year’s gains in favor of industrial bellwethers and small caps.

As the Nasdaq 100 slumped almost 0.5% to start the week amid losses for Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc., the Dow Jones Industrial Average added almost 1% on the heels of Friday’s better-than-expected jobs report and ebbing virus case counts. The sunnier economic outlook also boosted the small-cap Russell 2000 by as much as 1.6%.

Monday’s trading continues a theme scene in recent weeks, when companies that would benefit most from an end to pandemic lockdowns led gains while their work-from-home counterparts trailed behind. And while plunging inflation-adjusted yields have helped to justify bubble-era tech valuations, that trend is nearing a turning point amid the dissipating gloom.

“The strong employment data from Friday carried over to this morning, boosting the recovery trade, which has more value and cyclical exposure,” said Matt Stucky, portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. “This also hurts the momentum trade, which is very overweight tech.”

A pure momentum portfolio was the worst-performing Monday among 10 so-called factors tracked by Bloomberg, dropping the most in two months. Meanwhile, the Dow Average has climbed 4.8% since the end of July, beating the Nasdaq 100 by 3 percentage points. August is on track to be the best month of relative performance for the 30-member gauge since October 2018.

Bargain-hunting is also fueling the rotation, according to Tallbacken Capital Advisors. The Nasdaq 100 is trading about 18% above its 200-day moving average, versus a roughly 7% gap for the Russell 2000.

“Tech is technically stretched. Every time it gets this far ahead of working support, risk/reward deteriorates,” said Michael Purves, chief executive officer of Tallbacken. “So we have a semblance of a rotation — sell the overstretched, buy the understretched.”

A pure momentum portfolio was the worst-performing Monday among 10 so-called factors tracked by Bloomberg, dropping the most in two months. Meanwhile, the Dow Average has climbed 4.8% since the end of July, beating the Nasdaq 100 by 3 percentage points. August is on track to be the best month of relative performance for the 30-member gauge since October 2018.

Bargain-hunting is also fueling the rotation, according to Tallbacken Capital Advisors. The Nasdaq 100 is trading about 18% above its 200-day moving average, versus a roughly 7% gap for the Russell 2000.

“Tech is technically stretched. Every time it gets this far ahead of working support, risk/reward deteriorates,” said Michael Purves, chief executive officer of Tallbacken. “So we have a semblance of a rotation — sell the overstretched, buy the understretched.”

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