The capital markets possibly got an early smoke signal that the current bull run in U.S. equities might be stopping for air as the latest consumer price index numbers showed inflation rose at a slower pace than expected. During this bull run that has seen a heavy emphasis on growth-oriented plays, U.S. equities have been the default maneuver, but that may change with a steady shift to value, which could benefit China and emerging markets.
While the stock market has been largely tepid this week, the major indexes returned to their upward trajectory as the Dow, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 all saw gains in today’s trading session, helped, in part, by renewed trade talks between the U.S. and China. Both economic superpowers are said to be working on a plan that will include a new round of negotiations to end their trade disputes.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly sent an invitation to Chinese officials, proposing a meeting to discuss trade issues–a positive sign for investors who have been reluctant to invest in China or emerging markets.
“Everything’s been pro-U.S.–people moving away from investing overseas, especially emerging markets–areas like China,” said ETF Trends publisher Tom Lydon on Mornings With Maria on Thursday. “However, Trump’s done a good job as far as trade talks in Europe, in Mexico, in Canada they’re making some progress there, but the holy grail is China.”
The influx of heavy investor capital into sectors like technology, particularly FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) stocks, have spurred a concentration in growth, but value investing may slowly be coming to the forefront as the bull market gets deeper into the late market cycle.
“We’ve mostly seen pro-growth in the U.S. and that’s been really important,” said Lydon. “However, factor investing has become more important than pure beta investing liking buying the S&P 500 at a very low expense ratio. So what happens now is some of the smart money is starting to shift into areas like value that has been underrated.”