Navigating Equity Momentum: The Case for Buying the Dip in US Stocks

TipsForTraders | March 19, 2024

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In the complex tapestry of global equity markets, the United States has recently stood out, showcasing an impressive rally reminiscent of the robust beginnings observed back in 1995. This rally spanned various regions, conspicuously leaving China on the sidelines. This surge in equity momentum marks a significant turnaround from the dovish stance that characterized market sentiments at the close of the previous year. According to insights from Goldman Sachs strategists, the US momentum factor has witnessed an extraordinary period, boasting a Sharpe ratio nearly eightfold over a three-month span, a figure that significantly eclipses the risk-adjusted returns of the S&P 500.

However, the journey has not been without its obstacles. A notable concentration within the market has raised alarms about the possibility of a market correction that could diminish equity values. Despite these fears, analysis by US strategists suggests that such phases of heightened market concentration and momentum outperformance usually pave the way for periods of ‘catch-up’ rather than ‘catch-down’, buoyed by an improving macroeconomic backdrop.

The driving forces behind the US momentum factor’s stellar performance this year can be traced back to a surge in reflationary growth. Initially, the spotlight was on the quality and growth sectors for their contributions to equity momentum. Yet, a shift has occurred, with cyclicals now taking the lead as the primary contributors to this outstanding performance.

Amid these developments, equity momentum has lent support to the broader risk appetite, although the consensus among analysts is that the chances of a continued reversal remain slim unless there’s a substantial shock to US interest rates. Such a shock could potentially arise from unexpectedly hawkish stances in the upcoming meetings of the Bank of Japan or the Federal Reserve, which might then exert a downward pressure on momentum and dampen risk sentiment.

In this environment, Europe’s GRANOLAS stocks appear poised for a defensive stance when compared against their counterparts in the ‘Magnificent 7’. Despite Goldman’s bullish stance on equities, analysts point out that the near-term price targets offer limited room for upside gains.

In light of these dynamics, analysts propose a strategic maneuver in the event of a market downturn precipitated by a rate shock. They advocate for seizing the opportunity to ‘buy the dip’, aligning with a macro baseline that anticipates robust growth coupled with a normalization of inflation rates.


The current landscape of the US equity market is a testament to its resilience and dynamic nature, underpinned by a remarkable momentum that has its roots in both traditional and cyclical sectors. While concerns over market concentration and potential rate shocks loom, the strategic perspective emphasizes a proactive approach, leveraging periods of volatility as opportunities for investment. As we navigate through uncertainties in interest rates and global economic policies, the advice remains clear: in the face of adversity, there lies an opportunity for those prepared to act decisively, underlining the importance of agility and foresight in investment strategies.