Investment managers have done a quick about-face in their outlook for
the large- and small-cap equity markets, according to a new survey.
In the latest quarterly poll by Russell Investment Group, managers are dramatically more optimistic about large-cap stocks while souring on the small-cap universe.
Managers are now three times more bullish on large caps than small caps-a change of outlook that marks the largest one-quarter shift in the survey's two-year history.
"The survey's sharp swings reflect a growing view that rising oil prices, inflation, a slower housing market and two years of steady interest rate hikes may finally begin to bite," said Randy Lert, Russell's chief portfolio strategist. "Money managers expect an environment where major corporations will be the best performing segment of the economy, and now appear to be aligning their expectations and investments accordingly."
Lert said the trend line is clear: "Big is in and small is out."
Bullishness for U.S. large-cap value stocks rose 18% during the quarter, to 54%-the largest gain for any asset class in the survey's history. For small caps, the poll marked the largest one-quarter drop in the survey's history, with bullishness going from 57% to 27%.