Tax cuts are halfway priced into the stock market, J.P. Morgan says


After months of laying dormant, tax-cut expectations are fueling a violent rotation across stock-market sectors and investing styles, but are still far from fully priced in, according to analysts at J.P. Morgan.

In a Monday note, the analysts said tax cuts were around 50% priced into the stock market. That gives the S&P 500

SPX, -0.11%

 room to run to 2,800 by “early next year,” they said, while also urging clients to “fully” rotate into value stocks from their current “barbell”-type portfolio made up of a combination of growth and value stocks they’ve held since the third quarter.

A value stock is one that trades at a lower price relative to fundamentals such earnings or sales and is viewed as undervalued by investors. Growth stocks are shares in companies that are expected to grow at a faster rate than the market average.

A rather violent rotation has been playing out in the stock market in recent sessions and was on display Monday, with an early rally to an all-time high by the S&P 500 eventually cut short as investors again dumped previously high-flying tech stocks, among the best performers of the year to date, including the so-called FAANG — for Facebook Inc.

FB, -2.07%

, Apple Inc.

AAPL, -0.73%

, Inc.

AMZN, -2.44%

, Netflix Inc.

NFLX, -1.49%

 and Google parent Alphabet Inc.

GOOG, -1.14%

See: Chipmaker, software stocks close sharply lower as tax overhaul progresses

The S&P 500 at 2,800 would mark a 6.1% rise from Monday’s close. The broader market initially rallied, with the S&P hitting an all-time high as investors cheered the weekend passage of the Senate’s version of tax legislation, setting the stage for House-Senate talks on crafting a final bill.

But the weakness in tech weighed on the Nasdaq Composite

COMP, -1.05%

 through the session, and eventually pulled the S&P 500 lower in late trade. The S&P 500 tech sector ended the day down 1.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.24%

 ended at a record, but well off session highs.

Analysts said expectations for tax cuts renewed interest in sectors that had lagged behind and that were expected to benefit more from the tax legislation.

Meanwhile, the financial sector was the day’s top gainer, rising 1.6%. Previously languishing banks are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of lower tax rates and expectations for stronger economic growth.

That marked a follow-through from last week’s moves, when the J.P. Morgan analysts noted rotation “into value from growth, into domestic sectors (i.e. financials, telecom, retail) from multinationals (i.e. technology) and pass-through entities (i.e. utilities, real estate).”

They also noted rotation into the basket of stocks they’ve deemed tax outperformers (companies that would benefit most from corporate tax cuts) from underperformers, which have less to gain (see chart below).