Rare event: Europe looking better than the US

After nearly a decade of US equities mostly outperforming those in Europe, our indicators are finally more decisively aligned in favor of Europe now.

Fundamental momentum has shifted to Europe now

All of the indicators in the chart below are based on bottom-up aggregations of the constituents of the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (ticker IEUR) and the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (ticker SPY).  The middle section of the chart shows our key metrics of “fundamental momentum” for Europe relative to the US.

Tilting toward Growth over Value

One of the themes in our sector/style work recently has been to tilt somewhat more toward Growth over Value and Cyclical areas within the US market.

Why? Three key factors support Growth over Value, while one remains a concern.

 Our bottom-up aggregated earnings estimate revisions trends continue to favor Growth
 The relative performance trend has been shifting back to Growth over Value
 However . . . relative valuation of Growth versus Value remains stretched versus historical norms, though the interest rate backdrop is arguably a structural reason for that
 Also, the relative risk (volatility) differential of Growth vs Value has moved back in favor of Growth (i.e., Growth is now less volatile than Value on a rolling six-month basis).

Emerging Markets fundamental momentum still very weak

In our regional allocation work, we have been underweight in Emerging Markets relative to developed markets since May, and remain so currently. A key reason for our continued underweight stance is that the relative fundamental momentum for emerging markets remains very weak compared to that of the broader global equity market.

The chart below shows one of our popular composite indicator charts based on the relative performance of the widely-followed MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, ticker EEM, versus the broad global benchmark of the MSCI All-Country World Index (ACWI) ETF, represented by ticker ACWI.