The smart money seems to be split over whether the defensive or cyclical sectors will drive the stock market during the second half of 2012. But one thing is clear — companies that cater to U.S. consumers will lead the charge.
“Investors are insulating themselves from the problems in the rest of the world by owning parts of US-based companies that do business in the states.” says Joe Zidle, portfolio strategist for Richard Bernstein Advisors in New York. “Everyone loves to trash the U.S., but contrary to popular belief we are further along in our recovery than the rest of the world. Relative to our asset allocation benchmark, we are massively overweight in the U.S. right now.”
Scott Wren, senior equity strategist for Wells Fargo Advisors, agrees domestic stocks will benefit over the next few quarters from growing consumer confidence in the U.S. economy, and worries over the eurozone debt crisis.
“In this type of global environment, our modest growth and modest inflation economy looks pretty good,” he says. “Our domestic growth is viewed as dependable, something you can count on. Given that, I believe the U.S. has become the safe-haven equity market for global investors, much like our Treasury market has always been.”
It’s less clear, however, which sectors present the greatest opportunities for growth.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page