Favorable Relative Valuation for U.S. Large-Cap Stocks

July 18, 2014

This week’s Chart of the Week examines the historical valuation premium of U.S. small-cap stocks (as represented by the Russell 2000 index) relative to U.S. large-cap stocks (based on the Russell 1000 index). A line above 1.0 indicates a higher relative valuation for the Russell 2000 compared to the Russell 1000. As of June 30th, 2014, the small-cap index carried an 18.7% premium relative to the large-cap index. Investors should typically expect small-caps to command a larger P/E multiple relative to large-caps given that small-cap stocks tend to have higher expected earnings growth rates assigned to them. Despite this, the chart above indicates that small-caps are currently at the upper end of their historical relative valuation premium. This suggests a more favorable entry point for large-cap stocks versus small-cap stocks.

With U.S. equity markets over 5-years into the current recovery and major indices trading near all time highs, small-cap stocks are facing a few headwinds. As the Fed winds down its asset purchasing program and as the market begins to anticipate a rise in interest rates, small-cap performance will be more linked to the health of the U.S. economy and face a greater sensitivity to a rise in interest rates versus large-caps. In addition, large-cap stocks derive a larger percentage of their revenues outside of the U.S. and would be poised to benefit to a greater extent over small-caps from higher expected growth rates outside of the U.S. With relative valuation levels between small-caps and large-caps currently at a high level, a better risk/reward trade-off exists for U.S. large-cap stocks.

The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Related Content


The “Fix” Is In!

The strength of the U.S. economy over the last several quarters has surprised many investors, as consensus expectations from the…


The Emergence of Argentinian Equities

Argentina has faced myriad economic headwinds in recent time, including hyperinflation, currency-related difficulties, and a series of defaults on its…


Is Bitcoin Fairly Valued?

Despite mixed performance to start 2024, bitcoin finished the first quarter up roughly 68%. Buoyed by a broad weakening of…


1Q 2024 Market Insights Video

This video is a recording of a live webinar held April 25 by Marquette’s research team analyzing the…


Mind the Gap

Any ride on the London Tube reminds riders to mind the gap: Beware the space between train car and platform…


Japan: This Year’s Vacation Recommendation

Foreign investment isn’t the only thing streaming into Japan. In 2023, the number of travelers to the country surpassed long-term…

More articles

Subscribe to Research Email Alerts

Research Email Alert Subscription

Research alerts keep you updated on our latest research publications. Simply enter your contact information, choose the research alerts you would like to receive and click Subscribe. Alerts will be sent as research is published.

We respect your privacy. We will never share or sell your information.

Thank You

We appreciate your interest in Marquette Associates.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact us directly and we will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

Contact Us >