Small cap stocks historically have performed well early in economic cycles. Given that the US economy likely came out of recession late last summer or early fall of 2020, 2021 certainly qualifies as early in this cycle. The tremendous performance by small cap stocks over the past 10 months suggests that a lasting economic expansion has begun in earnest and seems to validate the historical cycle pattern of small caps beating large caps early in cycles.
We expect solid upside to S&P 500 corporate earnings relative to current estimates. However, expecting a year-over-year increase may be too much to ask. Consensus is calling for a roughly 8.5% year-over-year decline in earnings per share (EPS) according to FactSet’s estimates [FIGURE 1].
Assuming the Georgia Senate races play out in line with the current vote count, Democrats will soon have control of both chambers of Congress as well as the presidency, at least until mid-term elections in 2022. While there is a material difference between the Senate flipping to Democratic control and Republicans holding the Senate, we don’t believe it’s a radical shift.
To say that 2020 was a unique year would be an understatement. What began as an ordinary year quickly turned into an extraordinary one—does anyone even remember it was a leap year? Initial reports in early January noted that a novel virus was beginning to spread, but few at the time could comprehend how the situation would escalate. By March, the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the entire world. So after such a tumultuous year, what have we learned?