The stock market's turbulence may have investors wondering where they can turn. Investing in information-technology and energy companies...
The stock market’s turbulence may have investors wondering where they can turn.
Investing in information-technology and energy companies is the key to weathering the storm, says Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin. Although the government’s fiscal stimulus plan might buoy the market, consumer-discretionary stocks should be hit hard as home prices weaken further, food and energy costs soar and credit-card delinquencies rise, he notes.
Kostin thinks the economic boost from consumers spending stimulus checks could create a “double-dip” recession, or two periods of economic sluggishness divided by improvement in the third quarter.
Overall, Kostin expects U.S. economic growth to remain “anemic” in the next year as unemployment expands and food and fuel prices continue to rise. The analyst predicts that earnings estimates among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for the rest of 2008 and 2009 will likely trend lower as these factors persist.
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Citi analyst Tobias Levkovich agrees. He calls current expectations for S&P 500 companies outside the financial sector to grow earnings an average of 14 percent in the third and fourth quarters, “remarkably optimistic.”
Levkovich says predictions are especially overshot in the industrial- and technology-hardware and equipment sectors. He notes that a number of bellwether companies have recently reduced their second-half earnings expectations.
This, coupled with some profit warnings for 2009 and beyond, indicates a “perceptible softening” from the optimism seen earlier this year, he says.