“The Magnificent Seven stocks — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia and Tesla — now sport a market cap of around $12 trillion. Looking further into the market, the sales and profitability of the next $12 trillion in market cap are represented by 42 companies from a broad set of industries ranging from tech and health care to financials and consumer companies.
There’s a strong case to be made for the companies apart from their stock performance. The Bloomberg Magnificent 7 Total Return Index advanced 107% in 2023 versus the overall S&P 500 Index at 24%, largely because the positive fundamentals more than offset headwinds from rising interest rates. In 2023, these companies implemented stronger cost discipline through headcount reductions and capital reallocation to more profitable projects.
Sound balance sheets and strong cash generation give the Magnificent Seven an edge to invest in research and development, while also investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to potentially drive growth in the coming years. Last year, these companies in aggregate spent over $170 billion in capital expenditures and over $200 billion on research and development on initiatives that might have a secular impact on the economy, such as AI applications.
Risks to the group include elevated investor expectations after strong earnings in a choppy economic environment. Additionally, signs of global economic weakness could impact certain big-cap tech stocks more than others. Heightened geopolitical tensions and regulatory questions may also linger throughout 2024.
Nevertheless, investors may want to consider some exposure to the Magnificent Seven and also a broader set of stocks within the S&P 500 — as well as non-U.S. markets, where in some cases valuations are reasonable and prospects for both top-line and bottom-line growth look promising.” Want to read more? Head over here.
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