US Equities: Flight to Quality amid Elevated Uncertainty
US equities could offer a degree of protection against current geopolitical uncertainty, notably given their lower dependency on Russian resources.
Strong earnings growth combined with challenged performance to start 2022 have led to improved valuations for the S&P 500, the bellwether US large cap equity index.
Investors who prefer a more domestic and cyclical mix could consider S&P MidCap 400 or Russell 2000 exposures.
Amid geopolitical uncertainty, investors may seek less impacted parts of the market, such as US equities. While global growth may deteriorate due to the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, for now a recession is not priced in, especially in the US economy. Indeed, the US economy is not heavily dependent on Russian natural resources, including oil and gas. We believe that in the current environment US large cap exposures, such as the S&P 500, may be the optimal choice as they combine robust earnings and relative resilience to the crisis.
The S&P 500 index rebounded sharply after the initial shock of the COVID crisis thanks to immediate monetary support. However, the relative outperformance of US large caps, compared to other regions, was driven by a strong US economy and the company mix within the index. Indeed, the S&P 500 has a large weight in technology companies from various sectors. These tech giants look set to continue growing in the longer run, benefitting from structural mega trends. Their strong performance in the COVID era was often attributed to the long “duration” nature of companies within the large cap index.
However, amid uncertainty, the strong demand for products and services of companies within the S&P 500, coupled with a robust US economy, have been equally important. We believe that the S&P 500 may yet again offer a level of protection against this new geopolitical uncertainty, which, unfortunately, may persist longer than necessary.
Until recently, the biggest challenge facing investors looking to add to US large cap equities was elevated valuations. However, strong earnings from US large caps and poor performance so far in 2022 significantly improved the 12-month forward price to earnings multiple, which now sits at a relatively undemanding 18.6x, below the level of 20 February 2020 (as presented in Figure 1).
Although monetary policy tightening remains one of the challenges to navigate and a rate lift off in March of 25bps minimum is fully priced in, the path and the pace thereafter are more uncertain, particularly when it comes to quantitative tightening. US 10-year treasury yields remain anchored around 2% for now, providing support for the increasingly attractive relative valuations.
Figure 1: S&P 500 Performance and 12-Month Forward P/E
How to play the theme
Investor can access S&P 500 equities through the SPDR® S&P® 500 UCITS ETF. To learn more about the ETF, and to view its full performance history, please visit the fund page.
More domestic and cyclical alternatives for positioning with US equities
Investors could also consider adding US equity exposures beyond large caps. Both US mid and small caps offer distinct features not only due to their smaller size and more domestic profile but also given their more cyclical sector split relative to S&P 500 (see Figure 2). The S&P MidCap 400® Index, with a 12-month forward P/E of just 14.4x, could be a preferred strategy under a scenario in which the US Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy more aggressively. The less demanding valuation of the index would then serve as a cushion against expanding yields.
On the other hand, the Russell 2000® Index, or small cap index, represents a higher risk-reward exposure that is best suited to play the upside scenario of continuous cyclical recovery but with a milder yield expansion.
For Investors in Austria: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Company has been notified to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in accordance with section 139 of the Austrian Investment Funds Act. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales Prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the KIID as well as the latest annual and semi-annual report free of charge from State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, Branch in Germany, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich. T: +49 (0)89-55878-400.F: +49 (0)89-55878-440.
For Investors in Finland: The offering of funds by the Companies has been notified to the Financial Supervision Authority in accordance with Section 127 of the Act on Common Funds (29.1.1999/48) and by virtue of confirmation from the Financial Supervision Authority the Companies may publicly distribute their Shares in Finland. Certain information and documents that the Companies must publish in Ireland pursuant to applicable Irish law are translated into Finnish and are available for Finnish investors by contacting State Street Custodial Services (Ireland) Limited, 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland.
For Investors in France: This document does not constitute an offer or request to purchase shares in the Company. Any subscription for shares shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the complete Prospectus, the KIID, the addenda as well as the Company Supplements. These documents are available from the Company centralizing correspondent: State Street Banque S.A., Coeur Défense - Tour A - La Défense 4 33e étage 100, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle 92 931 Paris La Défense cedex France or on the French part of the site ssga.com/etfs. The Company is an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) governed by Irish law and accredited by the Central Bank of Ireland as a UCITS in accordance with European Regulations. European Directive no. 2014/91/EU dated 23 July 2014 on UCITS, as amended, established common rules pursuant to the cross-border marketing of UCITS with which they duly comply. This common base does not exclude differentiated implementation. This is why a European UCITS can be sold in France even though its activity does not comply with rules identical to those governing the approval of this type of product in France.The offering of these compartments has been notified to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in accordance with article L214-2-2 of the French Monetary and Financial Code.
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Accordingly, the Securities shall only be sold in Israel to an investor of the type listed in the First Schedule to the Israeli Securities Law, 1978, which has confirmed in writing that it falls within one of the categories listed therein (accompanied by external confirmation where this is required under ISA guidelines), that it is aware of the implications of being considered such an investor and consents thereto, and further that the Securities are being purchased for its own account and not for the purpose of re-sale or distribution.
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For Investors in Spain: State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc have been authorised for public distribution in Spain and are registered with the Spanish Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) under no.1244 and no.1242. Before investing, investors may obtain a copy of the Prospectus and Key Investor Information Documents, the Marketing Memoranda, the fund rules or instruments of incorporation as well as the annual and semi-annual reports of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc from Cecabank, S.A. Alcalá 27, 28014 Madrid (Spain) who is the Spanish Representative, Paying Agent and distributor in Spain or at ssga.com/etfs. The authorised Spanish distributor of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs is available on the website of the Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores).
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IL EST POSSIBLE QUE LES SPDR ETF DE SSGA NE VOUS SOIENT PAS DISPONIBLES OU NE VOUS CONVIENNENT PAS. LES OPINIONS/INFORMATIONS PRÉSENTÉES SUR CE SITE NE SAURAIENT CONSTITUER UN CONSEIL EN INVESTISSEMENT OU UN CONSEIL D’ORDRE FINANCIER, JURIDIQUE, RÉGLEMENTAIRE, COMPTABLE OU FISCAL. EN CAS DE DOUTE, DEMANDEZ L'AVIS D'UN CONSEILLER INDÉPENDANT. LES INFORMATIONS ET OPINIONS PRÉSENTÉES SUR CE SITE NE SAURAIENT CONSTITUER UNE SOLLICITATION OU UNE OFFRE D’ACHAT OU DE VENTE DE PARTS DES FONDS OU DE TOUT AUTRE INSTRUMENT FINANCIER.
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Informations relatives au Mexique
Les informations figurant dans ce document ne constituent en aucun cas une offre de titres financiers et ne sauraient être considérées comme telles. Les Fonds mentionnés dans ce document ne sont et ne seront pas agréés en vertu de la Mexican Securities Market Law (Ley del Mercado de Valores). Ils ne peuvent faire l’objet d’aucune offre publique, pas plus qu’ils ne peuvent être vendus sur le territoire des États-Unis d’Amérique. Il est interdit de distribuer publiquement les documents informatifs liés aux fonds susmentionnés sur le territoire du Mexique, tout comme il est interdit d’y échanger des parts des Fonds.
OPCVM SPDR ETFs
SPDR ETFs Europe I Plc et SSGA SPDR ETFs Europe II Plc émettent les ETF SPDR et sont une société d’investissement à capital variable et à compartiments assortis d’une responsabilité séparée. La Société est structurée comme un Organisme de placement collectif en valeurs mobilières (OPCVM) conformément à la législation irlandaise et agréée en qualité d’OPCVM par la Banque centrale d’Irlande.
Ce site web s'adresse uniquement aux investisseurs qualifiés, tels que définis par l'article 10 (3) et (3ter), de la loi suisse sur les placements collectifs de capitaux (« LPCC ») et son ordonnance d'application. Certains fonds peuvent ne pas être enregistrés pour la distribution publique auprès de l'Autorité fédérale de surveillance des marchés financiers (FINMA), qui agit en tant qu'autorité de surveillance en matière de fonds de placement, ou peuvent ne pas avoir désigné de représentant et d'agent payeur suisse. Pour les fonds qui ont désigné un représentant et un agent payeur, les investisseurs intéressés peuvent obtenir les prospectus, les statuts, les DICI ainsi que les derniers rapports annuels ou semestriels disponibles gratuitement auprès du représentant et agent payeur suisse, State Street Bank International GmbH, Munich, succursale de Zurich, Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich, ou sur le site https://www.ssga.com, ainsi qu’auprès du distributeur principal en Suisse, State Street Global Advisors AG (« SSGA AG »), Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich. Pour les fonds qui n'ont pas désigné de représentant ni d'agent payeur en Suisse, veuillez noter que les fonds sont ouverts aux investisseurs qualifiés, à l'exclusion des investisseurs qualifiés bénéficiant d'une clause d'exclusion (« opting-out ») conformément à l'art. 5(1) de la loi fédérale suisse sur les services financiers (« FinSA ») et sans aucune relation de gestion de portefeuille ou de conseil avec un intermédiaire financier conformément à l'article 10(3ter) de la LPCC (« Investisseurs Qualifiés Exclus »). Pour obtenir plus d'informations et les documents relatifs au fonds, veuillez contacter SSGA AG.
Vous devez vous procurer et lire le prospectus et le document d'information clé pour l'investisseur (DICI) de SPDR avant d’investir. Ils sont disponibles en cliquant ici. Ceux-ci comprennent des informations complémentaires concernant les fonds SPDR, y compris des informations relatives aux coûts, aux risques et où les fonds sont autorisés à la vente.
ETFs SPDR américains
La distribution des intérêts des ETF SPDR américains en Suisse sera exclusivement faite à des investisseurs qualifiés et s'adressera uniquement à ceux-ci, tels que définis par l'article 10(3) et (3ter), de la loi suisse sur les placements collectifs de capitaux (« LPCC ») et son ordonnance d'application. Par conséquent, les ETF SPDR américains ne sont pas enregistrés pour une distribution publique auprès de l'Autorité fédérale de surveillance des marchés financiers (« FINMA »). Certains fonds peuvent ne pas avoir désigné de représentant et d'agent payeur suisse. Pour les fonds avec un représentant et un agent payeur suisse, les investisseurs intéressés peuvent obtenir les documents juridiques liés aux ETFs SPDR américains gratuitement auprès du représentant et agent payeur suisse, State Street Bank International GmbH, Munich, succursale de Zurich, Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich, ou sur le site https://www.ssga.com, ainsi qu’auprès du distributeur principal en Suisse, State Street Global Advisors AG (« SSGA AG »), Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich. Pour les fonds sans représentant ni agent payeur suisse, veuillez noter que les fonds sont ouverts aux investisseurs qualifiés, à l'exclusion des investisseurs qualifiés ayant une clause d’exclusion (« opting-out ») conformément à l'art. 5(1) de la loi fédérale suisse sur les services financiers (« FinSA ») et sans relation de gestion de portefeuille ou de conseil avec un intermédiaire financier conformément à l'article 10 (3ter) de la LPCC (« Investisseurs Qualifiés Exclus »). Pour obtenir plus d'informations et les documents relatifs au fonds, veuillez contacter SSGA AG.
Avant d’investir, il convient d’analyser les objectifs d’investissement, les risques, les frais et les dépenses des fonds. Pour obtenir un prospectus contenant ces informations et d'autres, téléchargez le ici ou adressez-vous à votre conseiller financier. Lisez-le attentivement avant d'investir.