Matthew J. Bartolini, CFA, Head of SPDR Americas Research
As the first half of 2019 is coming to a close, the year-to-date market rally has extended beyond most investors’ expectations. Our 2019 Midyear Investor Survey gave us a great opportunity to hear how investors are feeling about this surprisingly strong rally—and how they’re positioning their portfolios for the rest of the year.
Here’s what we learned after surveying more than 500 investment professionals:
Cautious optimism abounds
Investors are still feeling optimistic about US equity markets, with the majority of respondents indicating they believe that the S&P 500® will increase by over 5% for the year. If this holds, given that the market was up around 15% when the survey was taken, it would translate into a roughly 20% return for 2019.
This would be the best single-year return since 2013—a time when interest rates were still held to the zero bound and the Federal Reserve was still conducting quantitative easing. As monetary policy is different today, however, investors’ optimism is tempered by a healthy dose of caution—mainly for macro reasons—as evidenced by their top three reported concerns:
- Geopolitical/international trade tensions
- A global economic and earnings recession
- End of the US equity bull market
About the Survey – A total of 529 investment professionals completed State Street Global Advisors’ online midyear survey, the goal of which was to determine the investment concerns and client portfolio considerations that are in the forefront of their minds. The survey was fielded in May 2019. The respondents represent a variety of investment professional segments, holding a wide range of assets under management.
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