Look out above. That’s the S&P 500 we’re talking about.
The index SPX, +0.24% looks ready to have another go at that 3,000 level, which it briefly topped Wednesday, thanks to dovish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. For Thursday, he’s back on Capitol Hill where we’ll see if he can keep the momentum going for stocks and other assets that have rediscovered their mojo.
But as investors cheer those new highs, they may also be feeling nervous about the fact some stocks and fixed-income assets appear a bit more costly on that ride higher. Our call of the day from Goldman Sachs has one big message: Hang on to quality.
“Dovish monetary policy, coupled with reasonably low recession risk and expensive valuations for high-quality assets, has prompted many market participants to question whether the time has come to rotate back into low-quality assets,” said strategists Lotfi Karoui and Caesar Maasry, in a note to clients.
“As for the elevated risk premium demanded by investors to hold low-quality assets relative to high-quality assets, we view it as a late-cycle insurance premium against an unexpected shock,” said the strategists. For Goldman, higher quality stocks offer more solid balance sheets and less risk, though for that investors often pay a bit more.
That “up-in-quality” bias, they say, has also shown up in emerging market equities, with gains led by companies with strong balance sheets; while in credit, sovereign issuers with strong fiscal and current account positions have generally outperformed. They aren’t scared off there either.
“The evidence from previous cycles is consistent with this intuition, with low-quality assets generally languishing when the economy operates at full capacity,” said the strategists.
Note, the iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF QUAL, +0.06% is up 21% year to date. Here are its top five holdings: Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.35% Apple AAPL, +0.26% Mastercard MA, +0.52% , Facebook FB, +0.28% and Visa V, +0.40% Read more about the ETF here.
Read: How this one stock could ultimately be responsible for killing the bull market
The Dow DJIA, +0.54% , S&P SPX, +0.24% and Nasdaq COMP, +0.20% are firmer after Wednesday’s powerful session.
Gold GCQ19, +0.22% and oil US:CLN19 US:CLN19 are climbing, while the dollar DXY, -0.06% is down.
Europe stocks SXXP, +0.30% are a mixed bag, while Asia ADOW, +0.70% tracked Wall Street higher.
450% — That’s the tally of total returns for the S&P 500 since the financial crisis bottom of March 2009, according to this chart provided by Ben Carlson, Ritholtz Wealth Management’s director of institutional asset management. With that, we’ve got our stat and chart of the day .
Carlson, who blogs at A Wealth of Common Sense, says he doesn’t recall any forecasts back in the crisis years that the index would eventually shoot past 3,000.
Weekly jobless claims fell to a three-month low and consumer prices crept higher. Still to come, Powell’s second day of testimony, and separately we’ll hear from New York Fed President John Williams and Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles. Monthly federal budget data will also be released.
The oil market is busy, with a hurricane threat in the Gulf of Mexico and reports armed Iranian boats tried to capture a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.
The U.S. will probe France’s plans to tax tech giants like Alphabet-owned GOOGL, +1.03% Google, Amazon AMZN, +0.84% and Facebook FB, +0.28% . Some say the White House may retaliate by taxing French imports.
Michael O’Leary, CEO for Ryanair RY4C, +1.19% warned over the cut-rate airline’s growth targets if Boeing doesn’t have its 737 MAX planes up and running by September, which he thinks may be a stretch.
The U.S. is probing Deutsche Bank’s DB, +0.14% dealings with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
U.S. Immigration will start raids on undocumented families this Sunday, says NYT
Study shows one glass of pure juice a day raises cancer risks
Trump golf course cancels tournament that had booked stripper-caddies
Instagrammers, stay out of this beautiful, but toxic Siberian lake
“Aquaman” body-shaming? Just, no.