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The nine-year-old bull market in U.S. stocks has been dominated by growth and momentum plays, such as the popular FAANG group of stocks. These momentum stocks have significantly outperformed value stocks, and Oppenheimer analyst Ari Wald says there’s no reason for investors to be fearful of momentum stocks just because stock prices are near all-time highs. After nine years, a certain degree of caution is understandable, but Wald says price action has remained bullish. Wald and the Oppenheimer analyst team recently selected the best momentum stock to buy in each of nine different market sectors.
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Analysts usually upgrade their earnings estimates for high-momentum stocks more than low-momentum stocks, creating an overly bullish sentiment among investors that could often make the high-momentum stocks very crowded. That behavior has moderated over recent months, noted McCarthy, and the momentum strategy has become less crowded since the fourth quarter last year, though still above historical levels.
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Still, other momentum strategies involve cross-asset analysis. For example, some equity traders closely watch the Treasury yield curve and use it as a momentum signal for equity entries and exits. A 10-year Treasury yield above the two-year yield generally is a buy signal, whereas a two-year yield trading above the 10-year is a sell signal. Notably, the two-year versus 10-year Treasury yields tend to be a strong predictor of recessions, and also has implications for stock markets.