Should you sell in May and go away?
We think not—Q1 earnings, markets, consumer spending, and jobs are pointing towards continued strength.
Our Top Market Takeaways for May 7, 2021.
Market morsels for May
May is bringing both sunshine and rain. Many in the developed world have the privilege of heading back into restaurants, the arms of loved ones, or even the office. But at the same time, emerging markets continue to struggle with dire COVID-19 conditions. Better-off governments are now walking the tightrope of supporting their own populations while also acknowledging a human obligation to help out less-fortunate nations.
Despite these differences, broadly the world is trending in a direction of strength, with the U.S. in the lead. The recovery is genuine. As we look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re sharing five market morsels on our minds this week.
- Who needs fireworks when you have Q1 earnings?! Of the over 400 S&P 500 companies that have reported, 87% have beaten earnings estimates (an all-time high!). As it stands now, Q1 earnings for the index look to grow close to 50% from the prior year (more than double what analysts were expecting at the start of the season, and the highest since Q1 2010). All 24 members of the KBW Bank Index beat estimates for the first time in history. FAAMG stocks, taken together, beat net income expectations by over $22 billion for the first quarter alone. That’s more than the market cap of about 180 S&P 500 companies.
The point is that strength has been both eye-popping and widespread. We’ve anchored our positive outlook for stocks on expectations that earnings would do the heavy lifting, and they are delivering. Going forward, it’s a key reason why we think U.S. stocks could be resilient in light of future headwinds like changes to corporate tax policy. Even after we incorporate expectations for a rise in both the statutory and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) corporate tax rates, we’re more constructive on potential 2022 earnings than we were at the start of the year.
- Cyclical stocks just keep on flexin’. Banks, industrials, and materials each notched all-time highs yesterday as investors continue to look forward to re-opening and recovery. Meanwhile, early COVID “winners” are lagging. Clean energy is down -40% from its highs, onshore Chinese stocks are down -14%, and semiconductors are down -7%. As we said last week, it seems that the “easy” gains for stocks may be behind us—for instance, investors aren’t rewarding earnings beats with the same fervor they have historically. Consider that, even with stellar results, FANG1+ is down -10% from its highs. It will be key for investors to look under the surface of headline returns moving forward—to us, we think it makes sense to have exposure to both cyclical areas of the market that are accelerating and secular megatrends that can drive future growth (even if they face some near-term challenges)
- Are we gearing up for a *hot consumer summer*? After a recession, we tend to see consumer credit card balances fall as banks write-off borrowing gone bad. Compared to pre-COVID levels, credit card balances are down around 13%, but this time around it’s because households themselves have paid down their debt (enabled in large part by government stimulus paychecks and other relief provisions). In aggregate, consumer balances sheets are emerging from this crisis in great shape.
Households shored up a lot of savings throughout the pandemic, and we think that will help fuel strong consumption as reopening becomes a reality. Our assumption that a little less than half of the ~$2 trillion in excess household savings gets spent down this year accounts for a big part of why we think the U.S. economy will grow by 6.4% this year. And more spending, especially in service-oriented sectors hit hardest by the recession, bodes well for businesses’ ability to hire workers.
- Jobs are coming back, but it’s a slow process. Today’s jobs report brought news that the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in April—well below the one million that were expected. Overall, employment still stands roughly 10 million workers short of what its pre-COVID trend would have suggested. And even though the “official” U.S. unemployment rate is 6.1%, this figure doesn’t account for the many workers who have left the labor force, in part induced by various job and income protection schemes around the world. An analysis by LB Macro tried to account for this “hidden unemployment” and found the “actual” unemployment rate could be something closer to 9%.
But it wasn’t all bad: average hours worked ticked higher and soared for workers in the leisure and hospitality sector. Labor force participation also rose.
Taken altogether, the full report seems to suggest that there’s a lot of demand for workers to fill open roles, but not enough workers to satisfy them—whether because of fears over the virus or because of continued unemployment benefits. Bottom line: the jobs recovery is underway but has a long way to go.
- What about, “sell in May and go away?” It’s true: stock market returns tend to be stronger from November through April than they are from May through October. Explanations for the trend usually have something to do with the temptress that is warm weather luring market participants away from their trading desks.
But investors should be mindful of what they may be leaving on the table. Since 2010, the only year in which divesting from the S&P 500 from May through October left you better off was 2011. That was the summer of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, and the S&P 500’s bear market was nearly perfectly timed from May 2 through October 4. We would be remiss not to also mention the potential tax consequences that would come from selling stocks every April 30 – that too eats away at whatever occasional “benefit” an investor might get from trying to trade around the calendar.
Like we said, this month is bringing both sunshine and rain. But we're looking forward to the flowers.
FANG+ is classified as an equal-weighted index representing a group of highly-traded growth stocks of technology and technology-adjacent companies including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet, and others.
All market and economic data as of May 2021 and sourced from Bloomberg, FactSet and Gavekal unless otherwise stated.
We believe the information contained in this material to be reliable but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. Opinions, estimates, and investment strategies and views expressed in this document constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice.
- Past performance is not indicative of future results. You may not invest directly in an index.
- The prices and rates of return are indicative, as they may vary over time based on market conditions.
- Additional risk considerations exist for all strategies.
- The information provided herein is not intended as a recommendation of or an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any investment product or service.
- Opinions expressed herein may differ from the opinions expressed by other areas of J.P. Morgan. This material should not be regarded as investment research or a J.P. Morgan investment research report.
This material is for informational purposes only, and may inform you of certain products and services offered by
J.P. Morgan’s wealth management businesses, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). Please read all Important Information.
- The MSCI China Index captures large- and mid-cap representation across China H shares, B shares, Red chips, P chips and foreign listings (e.g., ADRs). With 459 constituents, the index covers about 85% of this China equity universe. Currently, the index also includes Large Cap A shares represented at 5% of their free float adjusted market capitalization.
- The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks. The index is designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The index was developed with a base level of 10 for the 1941–43 base period.
- The STOXX Europe 600 Index tracks 600 publicly traded companies based in one of 18 EU countries. The index includes small-cap, medium-cap and large-cap companies. The countries represented in the index are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
This material is for informational purposes only, and may inform you of certain products and services offered by J.P. Morgan’s wealth management businesses, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). Please read all Important Information.
GENERAL RISKS & CONSIDERATIONS
Any views, strategies or products discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all individuals and are subject to risks. Investors may get back less than they invested, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Nothing in this material should be relied upon in isolation for the purpose of making an investment decision. You are urged to consider carefully whether the services, products, asset classes (e.g., equities, fixed income, alternative investments, commodities, etc.) or strategies discussed are suitable to your needs. You must also consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with an investment service, product or strategy prior to making an investment decision. For this and more complete information, including discussion of your goals/situation, contact your J.P. Morgan team.
Certain information contained in this material is believed to be reliable; however, JPM does not represent or warrant its accuracy, reliability or completeness, or accept any liability for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of the use of all or any part of this material. No representation or warranty should be made with regard to any computations, graphs, tables, diagrams or commentary in this material, which are provided for illustration/reference purposes only. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed in this material constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. JPM assumes no duty to update any information in this material in the event that such information changes. Views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed herein may differ from those expressed by other areas of JPM, views expressed for other purposes or in other contexts, and this material should not be regarded as a research report. Any projected results and risks are based solely on hypothetical examples cited, and actual results and risks will vary depending on specific circumstances. Forward-looking statements should not be considered as guarantees or predictions of future events.
Nothing in this document shall be construed as giving rise to any duty of care owed to, or advisory relationship with, you or any third party. Nothing in this document shall be regarded as an offer, solicitation, recommendation or advice (whether financial, accounting, legal, tax or other) given by J.P. Morgan and/or its officers or employees, irrespective of whether or not such communication was given at your request. J.P. Morgan and its affiliates and employees do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transactions.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENTS AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Conflicts of interest will arise whenever JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates (together, “J.P. Morgan”) have an actual or perceived economic or other incentive in its management of our clients’ portfolios to act in a way that benefits J.P. Morgan. Conflicts will result, for example (to the extent the following activities are permitted in your account): (1) when J.P. Morgan invests in an investment product, such as a mutual fund, structured product, separately managed account or hedge fund issued or managed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or an affiliate, such as J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.; (2) when a J.P. Morgan entity obtains services, including trade execution and trade clearing, from an affiliate; (3) when J.P. Morgan receives payment as a result of purchasing an investment product for a client’s account; or (4) when J.P. Morgan receives payment for providing services (including shareholder servicing, recordkeeping or custody) with respect to investment products purchased for a client’s portfolio. Other conflicts will result because of relationships that J.P. Morgan has with other clients or when J.P. Morgan acts for its own account.
Investment strategies are selected from both J.P. Morgan and third-party asset managers and are subject to a review process by our manager research teams. From this pool of strategies, our portfolio construction teams select those strategies we believe fit our asset allocation goals and forward-looking views in order to meet the portfolio’s investment objective.
As a general matter, we prefer J.P. Morgan managed strategies. We expect the proportion of J.P. Morgan managed strategies will be high (in fact, up to 100 percent) in strategies such as cash and high-quality fixed income, subject to applicable law and any account-specific considerations.
While our internally managed strategies generally align well with our forward-looking views, and we are familiar with the investment processes as well as the risk and compliance philosophy of the firm, it is important to note that
J.P. Morgan receives more overall fees when internally managed strategies are included. We offer the option of choosing to exclude J.P. Morgan managed strategies (other than cash and liquidity products) in certain portfolios.
The Six Circles Funds are U.S.-registered mutual funds managed by J.P. Morgan and sub-advised by third parties. Although considered internally managed strategies, JPMC does not retain a fee for fund management or other fund services.
LEGAL ENTITY, BRAND & REGULATORY INFORMATION
In the United States, bank deposit accounts and related services, such as checking, savings and bank lending, are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively “JPMCB”) offer investment products, which may include bank-managed investment accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.
In Luxembourg, this material is issued by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A (JPMBL), with registered office at European Bank and Business Centre, 6 route de Treves, L-2633, Senningerberg, Luxembourg. R.C.S Luxembourg B10.958. Authorized and regulated by Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and jointly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the CSSF. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. is authorized as a credit institution in accordance with the Law of 5th April 1993. In the United Kingdom, this material is issued by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., London Branch. Prior to Brexit (Brexit meaning that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, or, if later, loses its ability to passport financial services between the UK and the remainder of the EEA), J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., London Branch is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. In the event of Brexit, in the UK, J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., London Branch is authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority, subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. In Spain, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Sucursal en España, with registered office at Paseo de la Castellana, 31, 28046 Madrid, Spain. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Sucursal en España is registered under number 1516 within the administrative registry of the Bank of Spain and supervised by the Spanish Securities Market Commission (CNMV). In Germany, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Frankfurt Branch, registered office at Taunustor 1 (TaunusTurm), 60310 Frankfurt, Germany, jointly supervised by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), and in certain areas also supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin). In Italy, this material is distributed by
J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Milan Branch, registered office at Via Cantena Adalberto 4, Milan 20121, Italy and regulated by Bank of Italy and the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB). In addition, this material may be distributed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPMCB”), Paris branch, which is regulated by the French banking authorities Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution and Autorité des Marchés Financiers or by J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA, which is regulated in Switzerland by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
In Hong Kong, this material is distributed by JPMCB, Hong Kong branch. JPMCB, Hong Kong branch is regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we will cease to use your personal data for our marketing purposes without charge if you so request. In Singapore, this material is distributed by JPMCB, Singapore branch. JPMCB, Singapore branch is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Dealing and advisory services and discretionary investment management services are provided to you by JPMCB, Hong Kong/Singapore branch (as notified to you). Banking and custody services are provided to you by JPMCB Singapore Branch. The contents of this document have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in Hong Kong, Singapore or any other jurisdictions. You are advised to exercise caution in relation to this document. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this document, you should obtain independent professional advice. For materials which constitute product advertisement under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisers Act, this advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States, and as a body corporate, its shareholder’s liability is limited.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMCBNA) (ABN 43 074 112 011/AFS Licence No: 238367) is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Material provided by JPMCBNA in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Please inform us if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.
JPMS is a registered foreign company (overseas) (ARBN 109293610) incorporated in Delaware, U.S.A. Under Australian financial services licensing requirements, carrying on a financial services business in Australia requires a financial service provider, such as J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), unless an exemption applies. JPMS is exempt from the requirement to hold an AFSL under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) in respect of financial services it provides to you, and is regulated by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC under U.S. laws, which differ from Australian laws. Material provided by JPMS in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. The information provided in this material is not intended to be, and must not be, distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons in Australia. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Act. Please inform us immediately if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.
This material has not been prepared specifically for Australian investors. It:
- May contain references to dollar amounts which are not Australian dollars;
- May contain financial information which is not prepared in accordance with Australian law or practices;
- May not address risks associated with investment in foreign currency denominated investments; and
- Does not address Australian tax issues.
With respect to countries in Latin America, the distribution of this material may be restricted in certain jurisdictions. We may offer and/or sell to you securities or other financial instruments which may not be registered under, and are not the subject of a public offering under, the securities or other financial regulatory laws of your home country. Such securities or instruments are offered and/or sold to you on a private basis only. Any communication by us to you regarding such securities or instruments, including without limitation the delivery of a prospectus, term sheet or other offering document, is not intended by us as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or instruments in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful. Furthermore, such securities or instruments may be subject to certain regulatory and/or contractual restrictions on subsequent transfer by you, and you are solely responsible for ascertaining and complying with such restrictions. To the extent this content makes reference to a fund, the Fund may not be publicly offered in any Latin American country, without previous registration of such fund’s securities in compliance with the laws of the corresponding jurisdiction. Public offering of any security, including the shares of the Fund, without previous registration at Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission–CVM is completely prohibited. Some products or services contained in the materials might not be currently provided by the Brazilian and Mexican platforms.
References to “J.P. Morgan” are to JPM, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. “J.P. Morgan Private Bank” is the brand name for the private banking business conducted by JPM.
This material is intended for your personal use and should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for nonpersonal use, without our permission. If you have any questions or no longer wish to receive these communications, please contact your J.P. Morgan team.
© 2021 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.