A U.S. stocks rally is showing signs of expanding beyond the cluster of giant growth and tech names that have led gains this year, as investors reposition portfolios primed for a widely expected recession.
For months, investors piled into a handful of megacap companies seen as safe bets in uncertain times, spurring a rally that has lifted the S&P 500 nearly 12% year-to-date, concentrated in a small group of stocks.
As the U.S. economy holds up despite higher interest rates, fears of an imminent downturn are fading. Some investors have started dipping their toes into economically sensitive market areas that have been out of favor this year including small caps, energy shares and industrial stocks – all of which have seen hefty rallies in June.
“We’re seeing indications that the economy is going to be more resilient to headwinds,” said Tim Murray, a capital market strategist in T Rowe Price’s multi-asset division. “There’s reason to believe that the pessimism we saw at the start of the year is giving way to a stronger-than-expected market.”
Murray has increased his allocation to small-cap stocks, which tend to be among the most direct beneficiaries of economic growth. The Russell 2000 small cap index of small cap companies has surged 6.6% this month. The index is up 5.9% year-to-date.