The winter holidays might not be so miserable after all for stock investors.
So say Morgan Stanley strategists, whose warning about a “rolling bear market” seemed to pay off this week after growth stocks led a slide in equities. While underperformance in growth shares will likely persist, stocks may rally before year-end amid cheaper valuations, a supportive earnings season and more favorable seasonality, analysts led by Andrew Sheets wrote in a note.
“There is a plausible ‘year-end rally’ story here,” though the bank isn’t positioning for it just yet, they said. “Earnings season may give some respite from the very ‘macro’ storylines of Fed policy, trade tensions and poor market liquidity.”
U.S. stocks are set for the worst week since March as rising rates and worries over trade and the economy converged, driving a sudden unwinding in some of Wall Street’s most beloved trades. This year is on track to record the highest frequency of unusually large moves since the global financial crisis, according to Morgan Stanley.
The bad news is the Fed is unlikely to come to the rescue for now, the bank said. Pressure on profit margins is building, but this may not show up yet in third-quarter numbers. Morgan Stanley remains long on value versus growth, and long on Europe versus emerging-market equities.
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