Forget Biden Vs. Trump: The Incumbent Is Winning in Stock Market
A strange thing happened on the way to the biggest post-election surge in modern stock-market history. On Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was tacking on $600 billion of fresh value, most of its members fell.
How the index still managed to gain so much altitude is the story of the week and of the year: a reigning oligarchy of market behemoths, soaring past everything else.
Yesterday, as the big American equity benchmark rallied 2.2%, some 270 of its constituents were nursing losses. Some lost a lot. Three big financial firms slid more than 10%, while utilities tumbled to one of the worst days in three months. While a measure of equilibrium was restored Thursday, at the top, the leader board looked the same.
It’s a trend that will surprise no one who has been paying attention to markets in 2020: gains concentrating in companies that have circled like buzzards over virtually every rally of the pandemic age: the Faang bloc. Somehow, some way, even before the votes are counted, megacap technology is coming out on top. Again.
“It looks like we’re back with the winners of Covid are going to win,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of Bokeh Capital Partners.
The S&P 500 surged 1.95% Thursday, bringing its two-day surge to 4.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 again outperformed, adding 2.6% for a gain of 7.1% over the pair of days.
Investors are reverting to what works, a yearlong trend in which the very heft of companies like Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. schleps the whole market past a damaging pandemic and deep economic downturn. Cherished for their balance sheets, beloved by consumers for their online and automated products, the Fangs have been insulated from the coronavirus fallout. Total third-quarter profits for the group rose 2.6%, compared with an expected 11% drop for the rest of the S&P 500, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence show.