US equities, tech growing in market dominance, Goldman strategists say

FILE PHOTO: Manhattan skyline is seen during sunset in New York City

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stock markets are increasingly concentrated, including a greater weight of U.S. equities and technology stocks, and, while not necessarily unwarranted, could call for some diversification, according to Goldman Sachs strategists.

The U.S. equity market has outpaced other major regions since the global financial crisis, taking its share of the global equity market to 50%, Goldman strategists led by Peter Oppenheimer said in a note on Monday.

The U.S. stock market's relatively stronger earnings growth and its greater exposure to faster-growing industries -- and less exposure to slow-growing companies -- are among the major factors Goldman cites for the outperformance.

"While we like the U.S. market and believe its relative growth is based on strong fundamentals, we also believe that increased geographical diversification is justified," the Goldman strategists said in a note.

The strategists pointed to Japan as offering the best diversification among other developed markets. In emerging markets, the strategists cited India and China, with the latter country seen as a "value opportunity."

The rising prominence of tech in the U.S. and markets in Asia, in particular, reflects earnings growth for the sector, according to Goldman.

"While global technology profits have surged since the financial crisis, other sectors in aggregate have made virtually no progress," the strategists said.

The tech sector's dominance is not unprecedented, Goldman said, noting it is about the same weight as the energy sector was during the 1950s, according to the note.

While overweight tech in all regions, the strategists said there were good opportunities to hedge the tech dominance. That included a preference for the healthcare sector in most regions, as an area that is "relatively cheap but also has high prospective growth."

Another potential diversification opportunity, Goldman said, is Europe's GRANOLAS, which are 11 of the largest companies in Europe's STOXX 600, which trade at lower valuations that the "Magnificent 7" megacaps in the U.S. and are "reinvesting at a high rate, allowing them to compound earnings over time."

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Jonathan Oatis)