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Asset Allocation Insights

U.S. Growth Outperformance Likely to Continue

Timothy C. Murray, Capital Markets Strategist

Executive Summary

  • Despite a record span of dominance by U.S. growth stocks, we believe U.S. value stocks lack a durable catalyst to outperform.
  • In our view, structural factors that have underpinned the U.S. growth rally are unlikely to fade in the near term.

Since the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, U.S. growth stocks have outpaced their value peers. Improving market sentiment and global economic outlook—helped, in part, by the Fed’s 2019 “midcycle adjustment” and easing U.S.‑China trade tensions—have prompted investors to ask if it is time to shift to a value overweight. We say, “not yet.”

Supportive factors for cyclical stocks within the value sector have not made a “round trip.” While the Fed has cut interest rates, additional reductions are not expected. Further, the “phase one” trade deal means a pause in escalation, not a reversal of tariffs. Therefore, we believe that the magnitude of value’s advance is likely limited.

Meanwhile, we see no signs that the structural tailwinds that have driven the U.S. growth rally are abating. Innovative growth companies are leveraging automation for efficiency and benefiting from rapid technology adoption globally. Disruption in retail, media, and enterprise technology continues to shift massive market share from entrenched players to innovators.

U.S. growth valuations may periodically seem extended, while investors question the durability of this growth cycle. However, we believe that solid fundamentals—including improvements in cash flow, revenues, earnings, and profit margins—continue to underpin the rally. In our view, until these structural tailwinds have faded, a meaningful shift back to U.S. value leadership is unlikely in the near term.

Fundamentals Have Supported Superior Performance by Growth Stocks

Growth vs. Value Fundamentals

June 1, 2007, Through December 31, 2019

Additional Disclosures

London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). © LSE Group 2020. FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies. “FTSE®” “Russell®”, “FTSE Russell®” are a trade mark(s) of the relevant LSE Group companies and is/are used by any other 

LSE Group company under license.  All rights in the FTSE Russell indexes or data vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the index or the data. Neither LSE Group nor its licensors accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the indexes or data and no party may rely on any indexes or data contained in this communication. No further distribution of data from the LSE Group is permitted without the relevant LSE Group company’s express written consent. The LSE Group does not promote, sponsor or endorse the content of this communication. The LSE Group is not responsible for the formatting or configuration of this material or for any inaccuracy in T. Rowe Price Associates’ presentation thereof. I.H.S. Markit: Copyright © 2020 IHS Markit. All rights reserved. 


This material is being furnished for general informational purposes only. The material does not constitute or undertake to give advice of any nature, including fiduciary investment advice, and prospective investors are recommended to seek independent legal, financial and tax advice before making any investment decision. T. Rowe Price group of companies including T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and/or its affiliates receive revenue from T. Rowe Price investment products and services. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up. Investors may get back less than the amount invested.

The material does not constitute a distribution, an offer, an invitation, a personal or general recommendation or solicitation to sell or buy any securities in any jurisdiction or to conduct any particular investment activity. The material has not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in any jurisdiction.

Information and opinions presented have been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable and current; however, we cannot guarantee the sources' accuracy or completeness. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. The views contained herein are as of the date noted on the material and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price group companies and/or associates. Under no circumstances should the material, in whole or in part, be copied or redistributed without consent from T. Rowe Price.

The material is not intended for use by persons in jurisdictions which prohibit or restrict the distribution of the material and in certain countries the material is provided upon specific request.  

It is not intended for distribution to retail investors in any jurisdiction.

Canada—Issued in Canada by T. Rowe Price (Canada), Inc. T. Rowe Price (Canada), Inc.’s investment management services are only available to Accredited Investors as defined under National Instrument 45‑106. T. Rowe Price (Canada), Inc. enters into written delegation agreements with affiliates to provide investment management services.

© 2020 T. Rowe Price. All rights reserved. T. ROWE PRICE, INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE, and the bighorn sheep design are, collectively and/or apart, trademarks or registered trademarks of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.