Giganterne på det amerikanske aktiemarked er blevet endnu større under coronakrisen, viser en opgørelse fra Goldman Sachs. De fem største selskaber med Apple i spidsen står bag de seneste måneders kursstigninger. De udgør nu 23 pct. af S&P 500 indekset mod 19 pct. i januar og mod 14 pct. over en længere årrække. De har i år givet et afkast på hele 35 pct. – under historiens største økonomiske nedtur. Det har fået de amerikanske myndigheder til at se på den risiko, som giganterne udgør for markedet.
Concentrating on Market Concentration
The record degree of concentration in the US equity market has continued to rise as mega-cap companies have led the recent market rally.
The five largest US companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google – or FAAMG) accounted for 23% of the S&P 500 Index market capitalization in July, up from 19% in January 2020 and well above the 14% long-term average.
These stocks have returned more than 35% year-to-date as of Aug. 12, leading the market into positive territory for the year. Historically, such narrow market breadth has been cause for concern, but today’s unique landscape gives us reason to be both confident and cautious.
Today’s Market Leaders Have Stronger Fundamentals
The tech-forward trends that made the market leaders into mega caps have been accelerated by the corona-crisis. These secular trends have contributed to superior long-term growth expectations, but tech companies today also have sustainable advantages that may not have existed in past episodes of concentration.
Characteristics such as strong realized profitability, above-average near-term growth and low leverage have driven valuations higher as investors seek quality amid a world of uncertainty1.
Compared to the tech bubble when the forward two-year price-to-earnings ratio of the top five largest stocks reached more than 50x, the FAAMG stocks traded at just 31x earnings at the end of July. Actual profits have pulled multiples more in line with the rest of the S&P 500 Index today.
As Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research reports, the outperformance of the top of the market may diminish as other parts catch up in the recovery, but less likely because a bubble bursts2.
Today’s Market Leaders Have Garnered Increased Regulatory Scrutiny
Market dominance has also invited the potential for regulation. Antitrust investigations by US Congressional committees, the US Department of Justice, and the European Commission into prominent tech companies all pose risks. Any type of regulation or scrutiny that would reduce the growth potential of these companies would likely weigh on their return potential3.