2024.06.17 08:10
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Goldman Sachs Trading Director: US stocks continue to hit new highs thanks to technology stocks, but the market's risks lie on the consumer side

The U.S. stock market has once again hit a new high, with the main contributors being the tech giants known as the "Big Seven Sisters" of the U.S. stock market. However, Goldman Sachs pointed out that although the U.S. stock market has been hitting new highs, the economic growth expectations in the U.S. are overly optimistic, with the most easily overlooked being the financial deterioration of middle and low-end consumers and the decline in consumption

The US stock market has once again hit a new high.

Driven by AI and large tech stocks, the S&P 500 index rose by 1.6% last week, reaching a record high. The main contributors were the tech giants known as the "Big Seven" in the stock market, with Apple rising nearly 10% last week.

However, cyclical stocks such as base metals and banks experienced a pullback, leading to complaints from investors who did not invest in the "Big Seven" stocks, feeling left out and lacking participation.

Goldman Sachs pointed out that the S&P 500 index has once again entered the "overbought" zone. From a liquidity perspective, investors continue to show strong demand for large-cap tech stocks like the "Big Seven," with a net inflow of $8.5 billion this week. Meanwhile, the weakness in the small-cap Russell 2000 index continues to raise concerns among investors about slowing economic growth.

Goldman Sachs also mentioned that despite the continuous record highs in the US stock market, the economic growth expectations in the US are overly optimistic. One of the most easily overlooked factors is the deteriorating financial situation and declining consumption of middle- and low-end consumers. Although inflation is easing, price levels still pose challenges to consumers. The main reasons are as follows:

  1. The increase in tax withholding and capital gains taxes at the beginning of the year has raised the effective tax rate, leading to a decrease in disposable income for consumers;

  2. The actual decrease in tax refunds;

  3. The unexpected increase in first-quarter inflation has added to expenditures and may have reduced consumer confidence.

Goldman Sachs consumer analyst Kate McShane believes that middle-income consumers face the greatest pressure compared to other demographic groups, with an expected growth in disposable cash flow of 1.6%, as higher financial expenses and less home appreciation have restrained cash flow for this group.

The decline in consumer spending ability and willingness also affects the US stock market. Many large US consumer companies mentioned the impact of declining consumer activity in their first-quarter financial reports. For example, McDonald's Q1 earnings per share fell short of expectations as consumers became more selective in spending. Coca-Cola also found that lower-income consumers are turning more towards cost-effective consumption choices.

While consumer spending is rising, income growth is slowing down. This is not good news for retail companies