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Sector headwinds

21 September 2021

Research Signals - September 2021

With the summer months winding down in what is typically a quiet period for equity markets, US stocks notched new highs in mid September before experiencing a sell off on 20 September. Investors returning from vacation now grapple with potential threats to the economic recovery ranging from rising delta variant cases, tapering of Federal Reserve bond purchases, increasing taxes, intensifying geopolitical risks and, most recently, roiling Chinese credit markets and fears of contagion from Evergrande's debt crisis. With these pressures in mind, we review several signals identifying various headwinds facing sectors.

  • A new IHS Markit Investment Manager Index™ survey, based on monthly data collected between 7th and 13th September, identified a slide in overall US equity investor sentiment in addition to survey record lows towards Consumer Discretionary and Industrials
  • Healthcare, Information Technology and Industrials have seen the highest frequency of negative earnings revisions, exposing them to higher risk of further downward revisions given the forecasted slowdown in Q3 GDP
  • The proposed tax on share buybacks would be most detrimental to Financials given their higher propensity for buybacks, coupled with reduced revenues for investment banks

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