Since Nov. 8, the index behind iShares Core S&P Small Cap (IJR) outperformed its mid- and large-cap brethren.
In addition, economically sensitive sectors of the broader S&P 1500 index, such as financials and industrials gained ground, while more defensive sectors, such as consumer staples and utilities sold off.
For possible answers to what’s behind these moves and can they continue unabated, we turn to Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist for CFRA.
According to Stovall, these performances are likely based on two things: 1) the exiting of positions placed ahead of the highly expected Democratic victory, and 2) the speculation that on a macro level the new Trump administration’s policies will lead to higher U.S. GDP and EPS growth, due to a sharp increase in infrastructure spending, a resulting acceleration in the Fed’s rate-tightening timetable, and a strengthening of the U.S. dollar.
Demand for small-cap ETFs has been strong, with IJR alone pulling in $818 million since November 8, according to data on etf.com. The $24 billion ETF traded on average 1 million shares in the last six months, but volume spiked to 1.5 million shares in the last month.
PowerShares S&P Small Cap Financials Portfolio (PSCF), was one such sector ETF that increased in value since the election as it has high exposure to regional banks that can potentially benefit from rising rates.
Meanwhile, PowerShares S&P Small Cap Utilities Portfolio (PSCU), did not rise as much in the last ten days, as its dividend-yielding electric and gas utilities holdings were out of favor; the ETF also has telecom exposure.
For more information on the small-cap segment, visit our small-cap category.