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Small Caps Still Solid

Small Caps Still Solid

January 26, 2021

Small Caps Still Strong

Small cap stocks have outperformed large cap stocks and breadth continues to improve. Earnings are expected to surge this year. LPL Research continues to maintain a neutral small caps view—but with a positive bias.

Daily Insights

US stocks little changed as debate over fiscal stimulus remains in focus

  • European markets are firmly lower in midday trading.
  • Asian equities were higher overnight with Hong Kong the standout.

Strong earnings season so far with a key week ahead

Earnings growth for the fourth quarter is tracking to a 5% decline, 6 percentage points ahead of expectations (earnings data source: FactSet).

  • 86% of S&P 500 Index companies have beaten earnings estimates.
  • S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the next 12 months have increased by 1.3% since January 1, 2021.
  • Consensus S&P 500 EPS estimates for 2021 are now 2% above 2019 levels.
  • 13% of S&P 500 companies have reported so far, and approximately 120 more will report this week.

 Events this week

Technical update

The Nasdaq is poised to continue its leadership from last week, with the index broadly higher despite a flat S&P 500 and a pullback in small cap stocks.

  • Small caps and cyclical value sectors such as financials and energy led strongly in Q4 2020, but longer-term technology trends remain strong.
  • The Nasdaq closed at record absolute highs and relative highs versus the Russell 3000 Index on Friday.

COVID-19 news

The United States reported 130,000 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, a 27% week-over-week decline (source: Johns Hopkins).

  • The 7-day average of new cases has fallen 32% from its peak on January 8, 2021, and is now below its pre-Thanksgiving level.
  • Daily vaccinations in the United States have reached 1 million per day on a 7-day average basis (source: COVID Tracking Project).

Market Signals Covers It All

This week’s Market Signals podcast covers all the latest events impacting markets and the economy: Q4 earnings, a new stimulus proposal, the Democratic blue wave, and President-elect Joe Biden’s new economic policy plan. Watch Market Signals: More Stimulus, New Policies, and Stellar Earnings Season.



This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

All index and market data are from FactSet and MarketWatch.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.

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