New York: It may finally be time to load up on risky assets, Bank of America says.
The bank’s proprietary Bull & Bear Indicator, which measures investor sentiment by weighing factors like equity and bond fund flows, gave its first “buy" signal since Britain voted to leave the European union in 2016, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note dated Thursday.
Top buys for January include U.S. and European high-yield bonds, US small-cap stocks and Chinese and German equities, all of which look “very oversold" after recent market turbulence. The strategists said the S&P 500 index is likely to bounce to 2650 this month, from about 2450 earlier this week.
Turmoil in the credit and stock markets have investors yanking record amounts of money from equity and bond funds. Investment-grade corporate bond funds saw their biggest outflow in the week through Jan. 2, and equity funds have also haemorrhaged money as investors seek safe-havens like Treasuries.
Recent market volatility doesn’t signal the “Big Low of ’19," the strategists wrote, though the market could get there if corporate profit expectations slump and the U.S. Federal Reserve has to cut interest rates.
Bank of America’s wealth management clients have been reluctant to pour money into the markets. They’ve allocated 57.3 percent of their portfolios to equities, the lowest amount since February 2016, and are sitting on the most cash since March 2016.
The strategists recommend selling Treasuries, Japanese yen and health care and utility stocks this month.