Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. These five stocks have helped spawn a number of acronyms as they try to capture the rise of mega-cap tech stocks that have led the market higher for much of the past decade. The average return for those five stocks so far this year has been a gain of more than 30%, while the broad S&P 500 Index is just marginally positive, at 0.4% through July 30.
While many other areas of the market have remained largely static, the total market value of these stocks has dramatically increased, making them an increasingly large piece of market cap-weighted indexes such as the S&P 500. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the combined weight of the top five stocks in the S&P 500 has increased to its highest level ever, at nearly 22%. Only one of those five stocks (Microsoft) was a top five name in the index during the previous peak of March 2000.
But does this pose a risk to the index? From a diversification standpoint, one could certainly argue it does. For instance, if any shared risks should come up, from regulation, for example, it could do outsized damage to cap-weighted indexes. However, we believe that the recent gains have been justified by the fundamentals, and we continue to favor both large caps over small caps, and growth-style stocks over value stocks. According to analysis from Credit Suisse, over the past 12 months, the top five stocks in the index have grown revenues at 11.2% vs. just 0.8% for the rest of the S&P 500. Further, the remainder of the S&P 500 has subtracted roughly $17 from S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS), while the top five stocks have added more than $12.
Finally, while these stocks have been the face of the recent “stay-at-home trend” and may be more insulated from broader economic weakness, they are far from the only stocks making money this year. On July 30, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index hit a new all-time high and is now up more than 15% year-to-date.
“After a huge run, many of these top stocks may be due for a pause,” said LPL Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “However, looking out over the next 6 to 12 months, we believe that investors will continue to place a premium on companies that are able to organically grow sales, especially in a low-growth environment.”
For more on our view of growth stocks versus value stocks, see our blog from earlier this week.
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.
References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
All index and market data from Factset and MarketWatch.
This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.
Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity.
- Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency
- Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed
- Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations
- May Lose Value
For Public Use – Tracking 1-05039378