Market Sentiment Is Shifting to Favor Low-Risk Stocks – Here’s What It Means for Investors
Over the past six months, market sentiment around the world has shifted to favor lower-risk stocks.
This shift provides further evidence that defensive equities may continue to outperform in the short run.
Investors should take robust, nuanced and wide-ranging measures of value, quality and sentiment into account when choosing defensive stocks.
Only six months ago, the relationship between market sentiment and risk was very different than it is today. In June of 2018, high-risk companies generally enjoyed the strongest sentiment. Now the strongest sentiment tends to be associated with low-risk companies.
Measures of market sentiment are typically the fastest-moving signals we use to predict stock returns. We gauge sentiment using price movements, hedge fund positioning, forecasts of earnings and sales, and other metrics. The change that we’ve observed in sentiment over the past six months supports the observation that more normal levels of stock-market volatility are motivating investors to seek lower-risk, more defensive stocks. At the same time, this shift in sentiment provides a forward signal about the stocks that may benefit most from strong sentiment in the short term.
Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Reg. No: 200002719D, regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore). T: +65 6826-7555. F: +65 6826-7501.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security/ investment product. It does not take into account any investor's particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.
Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s), are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may make different investment decisions for different clients. There are no guarantees regarding the achievement of investment objectives, target returns, portfolio construction, allocations or measurements such as alpha, tracking error, stock weightings and other information ratios. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors.
All forms of investments carry risks, including the risk of losing all of the invested amount. Such activities may not be suitable for everyone.
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of the future performance. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when investments are sold. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted.
The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSGA’s express written consent.