Small-cap stocks appear to be having their moment this year outperforming their large-cap peers. The S&P 600 small-cap index is currently on pace to outperform the S&P 500 for the first time since 2016. One reason for their outperformance is a strong U.S. dollar. This is due to the negative effect that a strong dollar has on the profits of multinational companies. A strong dollar harms U.S. companies that sell goods overseas by making them less affordable. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are more insulated from adverse currency effects as most of their business is done stateside. For instance, companies in the S&P 600 index generate only 20% of their revenue outside the U.S, while companies in the S&P 500 generate 40% of their sales abroad. This had led to some of the largest companies in the U.S warning of currency risks in their latest earnings calls. In addition to a strong dollar, small caps are also benefitting from better valuations. According to FactSet, the S&P 600 is trading at 10.8 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, which is well below the S&P 500’s forward price/earnings ratio of 15.3.
Finsum: Small-cap stocks are outperforming large-cap stocks this year due to a strong U.S. dollar and more attractive valuations.