Head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America, Savita Subramanian offered her best strategy for navigating financial markets that have seemed topsy-turvy in recent weeks as the U.S. economy attempts to mount a sustained recovery from COVID-19.
“I think it is really easy to navigate these markets — and I’m going to tell you how,” Subramanian said on CNBC Wednesday afternoon, following a closely watched rate decision by the Federal Reserve.
The (BofA) strategist said the Fed has created an environment in which assets boasting inflation-protected yields are the most desirable for investors within equities.
She pointed to small-capitalization stocks as an area where investors could identify such assets, which would benefit from a solid U.S. economic recovery and offer consistent yields at a comparatively attractive price.
She said that small-caps are trading at a lower valuation compared with large-caps, so you get “more earnings yield for the same price.”
Within that area, she pegged energy and financials, which incidentally were big contributors to Wednesday’s gains, as solid plays because they “benefit from inflation rather than being hurt.”
The S&P 500’s energy sector
surged 3.2% on Wednesday and financials
soared 1.6%. Overall, the S&P 500 index
and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 1% on Wednesday for the best one-day gain for the benchmarks in about two months. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index
also closed up 1% for its best day since Aug. 27.
Meanwhile, small-capitalization Russell 2000 index
rose 1.5% and posted its best daily gain since Aug. 27.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve signaled that it is nearing a tapering announcement for its bond-buying program and might even move up its timetable for raising interest rates to 2022, reflecting a strong conviction the economy is on the path to full recovery.
The Fed maintained its forecast that inflation would fade back toward 2.2% by next year. Meanwhile, the central bank expects the rate of inflation to top out around 4.2% in 2021, according to its new projections.
However, many economists are doubtful inflation will fall as quickly as Fed officials expect and even some senior officials at the central bank are skeptical.