A Case of Haves vs. Have Nots?
A Bifurcated Environment for Stocks
COVID-19 has continued to put pressure on many companies despite an economy that has been improving since April of this year. Businesses that have high fixed costs, high debt levels, and minimal revenue opportunities have been the hardest hit. Many of these companies are still operating at significantly reduced capacity, continue to burn cash, and are unable to turn a profit despite the easing of lockdown situations in many states. Virus fears are still very present and negatively impacting consumer and business behavior.
Companies have been forced to enact their business disaster recovery plans and learn how to really operate in a more digital and reduced-demand environment. Examples of the “have nots” in the pandemic environment include airlines, cruise lines, casinos, hotels, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar retailers.
The “haves” are companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Teladoc, Facebook, and Okta. Their offerings to consumers and businesses are actually in higher demand as we all have adjusted to the new reality. We would argue active stock selection is incredibly important in this clearly bifurcated environment.
Index definitions: Large-capitalization stocks are represented by the S&P 500® Index, a market capitalization-weighted index that includes 500 of the largest companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. Growth stocks are represented by the Russell 1000® Growth Index, a market capitalization-weighted index of growth-oriented stocks of the 1,000 largest companies in the Russell Universe, which comprises the 3,000 largest U.S. companies. Value stocks are represented by the Russell 1000® Value Index, a market capitalization-weighted index of value-oriented stocks of the 1,000 largest companies in the Russell Universe. Small-capitalization stocks are represented by the Russell 2000® Index, a market capitalization-weighted index of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell Universe. Developed international markets are represented by the MSCI® EAFE Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that measures developed foreign market equity performance, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a market value-weighted index that tracks the daily price, coupon, pay downs, and total return performance of fixed-rate, publicly placed, dollar-denominated, and non-convertible investment grade debt issues with at least $250 million par amount outstanding with at least one year to final maturity. The ICE BofAML U.S. High Yield Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated below-investment-grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Municipal Index covers the USD-denominated long-term tax exempt bond market. The index has four main sectors: state and local general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, insured bonds and prefunded bonds. The indexes are unmanaged, their returns do not reflect any fees, expenses, or sales charges, and they are not available for direct investment.
The commentary is the opinion of Kayne Anderson Rudnick. This material has been prepared using sources of information generally believed to be reliable; however, its accuracy is not guaranteed. Opinions represented are subject to change and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of securities.
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