Market news | 7 August, 2017

The US stock markets break their all-time high records

Alberto Villasán Investment and Markets Director

In July, the S&P 500, which represents the capitalisation of the largest US corporations, reached all-time highs in North American stock markets, accumulating important yields in recent years.

This medium-term bull market movement has been sustained in particular by certain sectors and company types. Companies like Apple or Amazon from the Technology sector, or Fedex or UPS from Transport, have been the true drivers behind the US stock market revaluations.

… which comes in contrast with other equity markets…

Curiously, other sectors such as Mining or Commodities have performed much worse and have even accrued strong falls for investors over recent years.

Steel-working companies in the USA have, for example, reported falls in excess of 60% since 2008, versus positive revaluations of over 330% among companies in the Technology sector. The valuation of mining companies is down almost 70%, while Transport is up over 80% over the same period.

… which implies a polarisation between sectors…

In recent years, global investors have continuously rewarded some business types and sectors when taking their investment decisions, penalising others and causing some to be overvalued against others.

… very similar to that at the end of the 1990’s

This is not a new situation, and indeed it is very similar to ones we have seen at other times in the past.  Specifically, we think it bears many similarities with the period at the end of the 1990’s, when almost all investors were buying companies related to the Internet business, at the expense of those to do with the so-called “real economy” or traditional sectors.

This caused a strong difference in the valuation of certain companies and gave rise to an enormous opportunity for investing in those companies and sectors that were underpriced. Some examples of these types of companies are gold miners or global fertiliser companies.