(Bloomberg) — Investors should modestly trim stock holdings and shift the money to commodities after equities outpaced other assets amid receding recession fears, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists led by Marko Kolanovic, one of Wall Street’s staunchest bulls.
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With Friday’s report on US payrolls building on a string of stronger-than-expected economic data, the S&P 500 Index has advanced 13% from its 2022 low reached in June. By contrast, a Bloomberg index tracking commodities from oil to copper has declined over that stretch.
The performance gap opens the window for investors to shuffle holdings while maintaining a risk-on tilt, the strategists wrote in a note Monday. That doesn’t mean they expect stocks would fall. In fact, they see equities rising through year-end, bolstered by robust corporate earnings. Yet with commodities weakening of late, the strategists view it as a chance to pounce.
“Better-than-feared economic data are inducing equity and credit markets to price out recession risk,” they wrote. “With commodities lagging other risky assets, we shift some of our risk allocation from equities to commodities.”
As a result, the team’s overall overweight recommendation on risky assets stays the same. They also remain underweight fixed income and cash.
Still, telling clients to cut back on stocks is a notable shift for Kolanovic, voted the No. 1 equity-linked strategist in last year’s Institutional Investor survey. For much of 2022, he kept advising clients to buy the dip during the equity selloff, a call that looked shaky until recently.
In April, his team advised investors to pull back from stocks after the market staged a powerful recovery. The S&P 500 fell the following six weeks. In early May, Kolanovic said the negativity in the stock market was so overwhelming that a rebound may not be far off. The bottom didn’t form until mid-June.
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