There’s certainly a significant amount of enthusiasm within investment markets at the moment; the US equity market, S&P 500, is back at the levels pre-Coronavirus and the US Technology orientated equity market, the Nasdaq, is at all-time highs.
As has been the case over the last few years, the main UK equity market, FTSE 100, has lagged and been slower to bounce back – one of the principal reasons for this is that the index has a lower weighting to Technology, which has been a key beneficiary of the current backdrop.
The FTSE 100 has a greater allocation in Basic Materials, Financials and Oil & Gas – these sectors are more linked to the economic cycle and have been slower to recover.
Whilst the recovery has been slower than compared to the US, the main UK index is still up over 20% from it’s low in mid-March – which means we are now in a new bull market. The falls in February and March were extremely fast- but the bounce-back has been quick as investors start to position for economies reopening and consumers eating back into their savings over the last few months.
One of the questions I get asked more than ever at the moment is ….
Have markets gone too far, too quickly?
As mentioned earlier, the moves in stock markets over recent months (in both directions) have been very quick and trying to time the market is a dangerous game and the first thing I always respond with when asked this question is to reaffirm that we are long term investors, which matches our clients’ needs and interests.
However, we live in a world where technology has made everything instant – investors want to know what is going to happen tomorrow or in a week’s time. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index has always been a good way of framing this.
This index has always been useful because it does go from the far left to the far right. If interested, the below Fear & Greed Index is available online here with more information on how it’s created.
As you can see from the current reading, equity markets have moved back into “Greed” territory but the rally in markets over the last few months is not at an extreme. This reflects the fact that we have had a good run in equity markets – but we are not, in the short term, at overbought levels. What is also interesting is to see that 1 month and 1 year ago the pointer was in the “Fear” territory.
Chief Investment Officer
Luna Investment Management