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Seeking Upside Potential

Timothy C. Murray, CFA®, Capital Markets Strategist

Key Insights

  • Given the disconnect between the stock market rally and the deep economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, we have reduced our allocation to equities.
  • We are seeking upside potential in small‑cap stocks, while limiting exposure to value stocks.

The stock market rally has moderated recently, but we believe a large disconnect remains between the rebound and the deep economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the uncertain upside potential for stocks, we reduced the allocation to equities in our multi‑asset portfolios from an overweight to neutral.

Year‑to‑date performance among U.S. equities has varied widely. Large‑cap and growth stocks have, for the most part, regained their losses. However, small‑cap and value stocks, which are more vulnerable to economic weakness and typically have more debt, have lagged—resulting in attractive valuations with embedded upside opportunity but greater risk.

Uncovering Opportunities
A closer look at equity performance

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
Sources: Standard & Poor’s (see Additional Disclosures). T. Rowe Price analysis using data from FactSet Research Systems Inc. All rights reserved. Haver Analytics/Standard & Poor’s.

We have chosen to overweight small‑caps but not value stocks primarily because we prefer cyclical risk over secular risk. A full recovery may take a while, but we believe that cyclical forces could benefit small‑caps as the economic environment improves. Conversely, secular forces that have driven equity returns over the past decade, especially within technology, have become more pronounced, and the low interest rates that have plagued financials stocks are likely to persist. These factors present significant challenges for value stocks.

For a historical perspective, after the global financial crisis—when stocks in the financials sector were weighed down by both low rates and increased regulation while technology stocks benefited from the initial stages of online adoption—small‑caps outperformed, benefiting from their balanced sector exposure. However, value stocks did not.

Therefore, as the U.S. economy rebounds from recession, we believe that small‑cap equities may offer a better opportunity for upside potential than value stocks.

Key Risks—The following risks are materially relevant to the information highlighted in this material:

Equity Risk—In general, equities involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments.

Credit Risk—A bond or money market security could lose value if the issuer’s financial health deteriorates.

Currency Risk—Changes in currency exchange rates could reduce investment gains or increase investment losses.

Default Risk—The issuers of certain bonds could become unable to make payments on their bonds.

Emerging Markets Risk—Emerging markets are less established than developed markets and therefore involve higher risks.

Foreign Investing Risk—Investing in foreign countries other than the country of domicile can be riskier due to the adverse effects of currency exchange rates, differences in market structure and liquidity, as well as specific country, regional, and economic developments.

Interest Rate Risk—When interest rates rise, bond values generally fall. This risk is generally greater the longer the maturity of a bond investment and the higher its credit quality.

Real Estate Investments Risk—Real estate and related investments can be hurt by any factor that makes an area or individual property less valuable.

Small and Mid-Cap Risk—Stocks of small and mid-size companies can be more volatile than stocks of larger companies.

Style Risk—Different investment styles typically go in and out of favour depending on market conditions and investor sentiment.

Additional Disclosure

Copyright © 2020, S&P Global Market Intelligence (and its affiliates, as applicable).  Reproduction of any information, data or material, including ratings (“Content”) in any form is prohibited except with the prior written permission of the relevant party.  Such party, its affiliates and suppliers (“Content Providers”) do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, timeliness or availability of any Content and are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, or for the results obtained from the use of such Content.  In no event shall Content Providers be liable for any damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including lost income or lost profit and opportunity costs) in connection with any use of the Content.  A reference to a particular investment or security, a rating or any observation concerning an investment that is part of the Content is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such investment or security, does not address the suitability of an investment or security and should not be relied on as investment advice.  Credit ratings are statements of opinions and are not statements of fact.

The “S&P 500,” “S&P 600,”“S&P 500 Growth,” and “S&P 500 Value” are products of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global, or its affiliates (“SPDJI”), and has been licensed for use by T. Rowe Price.  Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, a division of S&P Global (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”). T. Rowe Price is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, their respective affiliates, and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of the The “S&P 500,” “S&P 600,”“S&P 500 Growth,” and “S&P 500 Value.”

Important Information

This material is being furnished for general informational and/or marketing purposes only. The material does not constitute or undertake to give advice of any nature, including fiduciary investment advice, nor is it intended to serve as the primary basis for an investment decision. 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 written 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.

EEA ex-UK—Unless indicated otherwise this material is issued and approved by T. Rowe Price (Luxembourg) Management S.à r.l. 35 Boulevard du Prince Henri L-1724 Luxembourg which is authorised and regulated by the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. For Professional Clients only.

Switzerland—Issued in Switzerland by T. Rowe Price (Switzerland) GmbH, Talstrasse 65, 6th Floor, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland. For Qualified Investors only.

UK—This material is issued and approved by T. Rowe Price International Ltd, 60 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4N 4TZ which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. For Professional Clients only.



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T. Rowe Price ("TRP") claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) and has prepared and presented this report in compliance with the GIPS standards. T. Rowe Price has been independently verified for the twenty four-year period ended June 30, 2020, by KPMG LLP. The verification report is available upon request. A firm that claims compliance with the GIPS standards must establish policies and procedures for complying with all the applicable requirements of the GIPS standards. Verification provides assurance on whether the firm’s policies and procedures related to composite and pooled fund maintenance, as well as the calculation, presentation, and distribution of performance, have been designed in compliance with the GIPS standards and have been implemented on a firm-wide basis. Verification does not provide assurance on the accuracy of any specific performance report.

TRP is a U.S. investment management firm with various investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, and other regulatory bodies in various countries and holds itself out as such to potential clients for GIPS purposes. TRP further defines itself under GIPS as a discretionary investment manager providing services primarily to institutional clients with regard to various mandates, which include U.S, international, and global strategies but excluding the services of the Private Asset Management group.

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