The investment professionals at Goldman Sachs are alerting clients that “equities do not look attractive.”
“We downgrade equities to Neutral over 12 months on growth and valuation concerns,” said the team led by Christian Mueller-Glissman.
Neither of these concerns are new. Not only has earnings growth been negative, but long-term expectations for earnings growth have been lackluster. And valuations have been elevated. According to FactSet, the forward 12-month price-earnings (P/E) ratio is 16.6, which is well above the 5-year average of 14.5 and the 10-year average of 14.3.
All of this is in the context of what they expect to be a rising dollar environment.
For Goldman, the timing of the call was in response to the recent swing in the market. They specifically cited “the rebound from the trough on February 11” and “the S&P 500 (^GSPC) at the upper end of its recent range.”
Goldman isn’t alone in warning clients of weak returns and imminent volatility.
“Several indicators are sending some worrying signs that need to be monitored for possible deterioration,” Citi equity strategist Tobias Levkovich said on Friday.
“An increasing number of trends worry us as we head into summer,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategist Savita Subramanian said on Monday.
For now, sentiment will likely continue to be one of caution.
“Until we see sustained signals of growth recovery, we do not feel comfortable taking equity risk, particularly as valuations are near peak levels,” the Goldman analysts said.
In this environment, the analysts recommend being overweight cash and 5-year corporate bonds.
Sam Ro is managing editor at Yahoo Finance. Read more:
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