- Growth stocks overextended as investors play the “greater fool” game
- Parallels drawn between current rally and dot-com bubble
- Growth stocks facing a potential weak decade relative to value stocks
- Potential entry point for cyclical value stocks in a soft-landing scenario
The current mega-cap, FOMO-driven stock market rally has raised concerns among strategists, who believe that investors are playing a dangerous game. Stifel’s chief equity strategist, Barry Bannister, and his team have drawn parallels between the current rally and the infamous dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. They argue that the overextended valuations of growth stocks suggest a weak decade ahead relative to value stocks.
The Greater Fool Game
Bannister and his team highlight the risk of the “greater fool” game that investors seem to be playing with growth stocks. The greater fool theory of economics suggests that there will always be someone in the market willing to pay a higher price for an already overvalued asset. However, when the bubble bursts and the majority of investors realize the underlying security’s true value, those left holding the overvalued assets will suffer. This risky and speculative strategy is typically associated with bubble markets, such as housing or cryptocurrencies, but it seems to be playing out in the current stock market rally.
Weak Decade for Growth Stocks
One of the key concerns raised by Bannister and his team is the divergence in valuations between growth stocks and value stocks. The price-to-earnings ratio for growth stocks has reached a “magnificent” level compared to value stocks. This discrepancy suggests that large-cap growth stocks may be heading for a weak decade with lower 10-year forward annualized returns relative to their value counterparts. Investors who are betting on the continued growth of these stocks may be disappointed in the long run.
Potential Entry Point for Value Stocks
While growth stocks may be facing headwinds, Bannister and his team argue that a potential soft-landing scenario for the U.S. economy could provide a timely entry point for cyclical value stocks. These stocks, which are known for following the cycles of the economy, may benefit from persistent economic growth and sticky inflation. Sectors such as financials, industrials, materials, real estate, and energy could produce higher returns during periods of economic strength.
The current stock market rally driven by FOMO and mega-cap technology stocks has raised concerns among strategists. The overextended valuations of growth stocks and the speculative “greater fool” game being played by investors suggest a potential weak decade ahead for these stocks. On the other hand, a potential soft-landing scenario for the U.S. economy could provide an entry point for cyclical value stocks. Investors should carefully consider the risks and opportunities presented by the current market dynamics.