Previous U.S. equity barometers

Barometer of European interest in U.S. equities

July 2010

During July 2010 Phoenix-IR researched the views of 108 leading institutions based in nine European countries (UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden) managing total assets in excess of $4,000 billion. The results show that Europeans continue to be cautiously optimistic on U.S. equities. There has been a significant change in sentiment from earlier in the year as investors now see valuations as attractive. However, fear about the fragility of the global recovery is holding many back from fully committing themselves to the market. With few investors currently overweight the S&P 500 there is plenty of potential demand sitting on the sidelines.
What do you think of the current valuation of the S&P 500?
  • Significant change in sentiment as 46% of investors now see S&P 500 as undervalued compared to only 13% in February
  • Perceived attractive valuation of market is back to level not seen since end of 2008 / beginning of 2009
What is your current weighting to U.S. Equities?
  • Although investors find valuations attractive, many are still sitting on the sidelines
  • 43% of investors remain neutral – small net underweight supports buying potential
Over the next 12 months, do you intend to change your weighting to U.S. Equities?
  • 62% of investors foresee no change in their weighting over next 12 months
  • With only 6% looking to sell, the net % intending to increase is at 26% of our sample
What are your current U.S. sector allocations?
  • Proportion of investors overweight Technology increases and Financials are most underweight again
  • Improving sentiment towards Health Care and Consumer Staples
  • Improving sentiment but still underweight towards Consumer Discretionary, Telecom and Utilities
  • Worsening sentiment but still overweight towards Industrials, Energy
  • Biggest fall in sentiment towards Materials which is now significantly underweight
What is your current view on U.S. sector valuations?
  • Wider dispersion of views on sector valuations
  • Materials seen as most overvalued followed by Consumer Discretionary
  • Health Care seen as most undervalued by far, followed by Technology and Energy
Over the next 12 months, what do you expect the U.S. dollar to?
  • Europeans are still bullish on the US Dollar
Market expectations for corporate earnings for the next 12 months?
  • 48% of managers believe market expectations are slightly too high
  • Hardly anyone thinks earnings expectations are too low
How would you describe your current cash position?
  • Cash positions are still higher than normal
Where do you think the S&P 500 will end the year?
  • Sentiment towards U.S. market continues to improve
  • 48% expect S&P 500 to end the year in 1100-1200 range
What is the average holding period of stocks in your portfolio?
What is the Active Share Ratio of your portfolio?

Where do you stand on the Deflation / Stability / Inflation?
  • Short term deflation expectations increase slightly but majority (59%) still expect price stability for the next 18 months
  • Longer term inflation expectations remain intact as most investors expect inflation from 2012 onwards

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