Barclays: We're About to Enter a New Stock Market Regime

One that favors ... energy companies?

The U.S. Federal Reserve building in Washington.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg

We might be just one month away from the first interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve in nearly a decade, the prospect of which should be sending investors scuttling to figure out how best to prepare their portfolios. 

According to Barclays, the turn of the U.S. interest rate cycle will likely produce a new regime for the stock market. A team of analysts led by Ian Scott in London found that past tightening cycles have tended to produce outperformance in value stocks, or those that are underpriced relative to their peers and fundamentals.

Here's what they say.

U.S. interest rates have been a key driver of style and sector performance within global equities. If, as expected, the Fed starts raising rates in December this could have profound implications for style and sector leadership. We think the most robust conclusion is a market driven more by value than either quality or growth. Sectorally we think this favors financials, late-cycle cyclicals and energy. On the other hand, staples and healthcare, as well as utilities and telecoms could struggle globally.


Given the trouble that the energy sector has faced recently and the bearishness that continues at a number of firms, such as Goldman Sachs, some might be a bit skeptical on the call to overweight energy. Barclays believes the industry will get a boost as the price of Brent oil rises from the $45 a barrel we see today:

In addition to the so-called later-cycle cyclical sectors, the global energy sector has displayed a degree of robustness during periods of rising interest rates. ... Barclays’ Commodity Research Team anticipates a recovery in the oil price to around $70 (Brent) by the end of 2016. Such a rise would likely bring about a near doubling in estimates for oil company earnings, reducing the sector’s earnings multiple to around 11 times.

At the end of its note, Barclays recommends some specific stocks based on its sectoral suggestions. Better-known names on the list include MGM Resorts, ConocoPhillipsCitigroupJPMorgan ChaseAetnaDelta Air LinesGeneral Electric, and Oracle