Investors Switch Focus to 'Value Stocks'

Markets edge upward, led by smaller companies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2021 3:50 PM CST
Markets Edge Upward, With Focus on 'Value Stocks'
In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, Frank O.Connell, right works with a feel trader on the floor, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.   (Colin Ziemer/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Stocks shook off a midday slide and ended broadly higher on Wall Street. The S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1% Tuesday. Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market by a wide margin, a sign that investors are becoming more optimistic about an economic rebound. Treasury yields kept marching higher as investors anticipate that the economy will pull out of its slump and rebound later this year. Markets have been charging higher on optimism about COVID-19 vaccines and more stimulus for the economy, but the gains have been so big that critics say stocks have become too expensive, the AP reports. The S&P 500 closed at 3,801.19, up 0.04%, after flipping between small gains and losses for much of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.19%, to 31,068.69, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.28%.

Energy stocks made broad gains as crude oil prices advanced. Occidental Petroleum climbed 11.8% for one of the biggest gains in the index, while Marathon Oil rose 7.6%. General Motors jumped 6.8% amid excitement about a business unit it's creating to sell electric-powered delivery vehicles and equipment. Stocks of smaller companies were also rallying, with the Russell 2000 index of small-caps up 1.5% and on track for an all-time high. They've been leading the market in recent weeks as investors see them benefiting much more from a healthier economy than behemoth stocks that managed to largely sustain themselves through the pandemic. "You’re starting to see value stocks and financials putting in a consistent outperformance versus growth stocks," said Andrew Slimmon, portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

(More stock market stories.)

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