J.P. Morgan: Investors Should Start Taking Profits From Tech Stocks

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Written by Dana Sanchez
tech stocks
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Large tech stocks underperformed on Monday and were some of the biggest laggers on the S&P 500 heading into Election Day.

After two years of bullishness towards the tech sector, analysts at J.P. Morgan said on Monday they think it’s time to start taking profits in the best-performing sector of the past four years.

J.P. Morgan analysts led by Mislav Matejka on Monday downgraded the tech sector from overweight to neutral, MarketWatch reported.

“We continue to believe that tech fundamentals are supportive, through strong balance sheets, significant buybacks, structural tailwinds and earnings delivery, but the relative outperformance could start waning,” analysts said. “We now believe that one should take profits in the space.”

Growing expectations of a Democratic party “blue wave” victory in the race for the presidency, House and Senate appear to be driving investors towards stocks that could benefit from policies that would go with a Joe Biden administration, including generous government stimulus spending, the Guardian reported.

Wall Street failed to anticipate Donald’s Trump’s 2016 victory, and now it’s predicting a Biden win. Investment patterns have shifted over recent weeks from tech stocks and U.S. government bonds to buying shares in smaller companies and renewables.

Since election day 2016, the Technology Select Sector ETF has surged 135 percent, compared with a 53 percent gain in the S&P 500 index, a 111-percent rise in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index and a 45-percent rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Marketwatch reported. The next best-performing S&P 500 sector in the past four years has been the consumer discretionary sector, which includes Amazon, with the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector ETF up 82 percent.

Big Tech companies have made monster gains in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. As people went onto lockdown and used their devices more than ever to work and play online at home, some investors bet on tech stock profits.

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The stock market capitalization-to-GDP ratio, aka the Buffett Indicator, is a tool used to determine whether the market is undervalued or overvalued compared to its historical average. In late August, it showed that stocks were more overvalued than they’ve been since 1971, Moneymorning reported.

On Aug. 27, the Buffett Indicator was 67 percent higher than the historical average — a level not seen since the internet bubble of the early 2000s.

While it is pulling back on the sector, J.P. Morgan said that it did not consider the tech sector to be as stretched as it was back in the 2000 dot-com bubble.

“Tech earnings relative to the broader market are much higher than what was seen in 2000,” according to J.P. Morgan. “Given resilient earnings, Tech P/E relative to the market is not stretched as it was in 2000.”