Some researchers, however, see potential for small-cap outperformance once a recovery begins, signs of which were prevalent this week. Coming out of recessions, small caps have beaten large nine out of the last 10 times and also tend to beat coming out of bear markets, according to Jefferies’s Steven DeSanctis and Eric Lockenvitz.

“You’ve seen both value and small-caps do better because of the anticipation of a better economic cycle in the upcoming year,” said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer of Vantagepoint Investment Advisers. “With that hope by investors, I think you’ve seen a shift to those more pro-cyclical plays.”

To Barry James, portfolio manager at James Investment Research, the trend also makes sense. Investors already took advantage of the run-up in tech firms -- now, they’re looking for new deals.

“We view the market as a battlefield and the generals have been leading and now maybe the privates are coming into battle,” he said. “Folks realize that is where the opportunities are.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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