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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Is the stock market rally finally broadening out?

13:13 15 May 2024

While most of the market is focused on the US CPI print and what the Fed does next, we have noticed something very interesting happening in global stock markets: global stock market leadership is changing on a regional and a sectoral basis.

Stock markets around the world are hitting record highs and risk sentiment is strong. However, unlike other risk rallies in the past year, this one seems to be broad-based and not only driven by tech. For example, the S&P 500 is less than 10 points away from its record high reached in March, and it was driven higher by the tech sector. In contrast, the FTSE 100 reached a fresh intra-day record high on Wednesday, and it was led higher by industrials. Two very different sectors are driving stock markets on either side of the Atlantic.

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The broadening out of the stock market rally is something that investors have been looking for in recent months. As you can see in the chart below, which shows the market cap weighted S&P 500 and the equal weighted S&P 500, which strips out the effects of the mega tech companies, the market cap-weighted index has increased at a faster pace than the equal weighted index over the past year. However, in the past month, something has shifted, and the equal weighted index has outperformed the market cap weighted index.

Chart 1: S&P 500 and SPW

Source: XTB and Bloomberg

This suggests that in the short term, the market is favouring sectors outside of tech like consumer discretionary and utilities. Overall, we do not expect the tech sector to underperform during this period, without the tech sector the US stock markets won’t be able to attempt fresh record highs, instead, the current market rally may lift multiple sectors at the same time.

This theme is evident when you look at the sectors that have been leading the S&P 500 in the past few weeks. Semiconductors are the leading sector in the US index YTD, however, in the past month the top five best performing sectors in the US include industrial production, consumer electronics, passenger air travel, water utilities and investment banking. When consumer discretionary and financials are rallying in an index, this can be a sign of strong risk sentiment. The drivers could be 1, the prospect of rate cuts from the Fed coming sooner than expected, and 2, AI benefits spreading beyond tech. The second point is worth looking at in more detail. We often talk about AI benefits in terms of the implementation of the technology into businesses and how it will boost efficiency and cut costs etc., however, now people are widening the AI conversation to include the power generation needed to fuel AI, which will be a major consumer of electricity. Utilities and minerals are both sectors that could benefit from an AI boom due to the electricity generation needed to power AI models and the copper that will be necessary to boost power grids. Thus, this stock market rally may not all hinge on where tech goes next and on the exact timing of Fed rate cuts.

Looking beyond the US, as we mention above, the FTSE 100 and other European indices are also rallying. For example, on a currency adjusted basis the FTSE 100 is higher by 2% in the past 5 days and the Eurostoxx 50 index is up by 1.6%. As you can see in the chart below, which shows the S&P 500 (white line) and other global indices, the US index has led global indices for the past year.

Chart 2: Global stock markets

Source: XTB and Bloomberg

However, in the past 6 months, the Eurostoxx 50 index has outpaced gains in the S&P 500, and in the past month the FTSE 100 is leading the global stock market pack, followed by the MSCI world index.

To conclude, there is a shift in markets, and the recent risk rally is benefiting a broader array of markets, stocks, and sectors. usually, usually a sign of a strong and healthy market rally, which may have legs.

This content has been created by XTB S.A. This service is provided by XTB S.A., with its registered office in Warsaw, at Prosta 67, 00-838 Warsaw, Poland, entered in the register of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy) conducted by District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw, XII Commercial Division of the National Court Register under KRS number 0000217580, REGON number 015803782 and Tax Identification Number (NIP) 527-24-43-955, with the fully paid up share capital in the amount of PLN 5.869.181,75. XTB S.A. conducts brokerage activities on the basis of the license granted by Polish Securities and Exchange Commission on 8th November 2005 No. DDM-M-4021-57-1/2005 and is supervised by Polish Supervision Authority.

Written by

Kathleen Brooks

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