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The Big Picture: Understanding the Impact of the Magnificent 7

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The stock market, with its ebbs and flows, can often resemble the unpredictable nature of the ocean. At first glance, the surface might seem calm, but a deeper dive reveals a complex and interconnected world below. Such is the case with the S&P 500's performance, where headline figures can be deceiving if not put into context.

The Cap-Weighted Conundrum

The S&P 500 operates on a "cap-weighted" mechanism, allowing dominant players like the "Magnificent 7" stocks to considerably influence its trajectory. Their stellar or poor performance can drastically affect the entire index, potentially masking the big picture reality of many other constituent stocks.

Broader Market Dynamics

While the "Magnificent 7" paint one picture, other benchmarks tell varied stories:

- The equal-weighted version of the S&P 500, which neutralizes the influence of mega-caps, stands with a modest gain of 1.78% for the year.

- The Russell 2000, representing smaller companies, shows an uptick of 2.51%, suggesting that smaller caps have had a relatively tepid year.

- Bonds, a traditional refuge for investors, have regressed, recording a decrease of -1.21%.

It's essential to note that while specific stocks or segments might show recovery, the broader market tells a slightly somber tale. The market as a whole faced a downturn of over 18% last year. Even with this year's gains of 13%, the market is still grappling to recoup its losses and remains underwater.

The Magnificent 7 ... and, everything else. Source: Bloomberg

The "Magnificent " Roller Coaster

Last year, the "Magnificent 7" faced a substantial drop, plummeting by 45.32%. To rebound from this and break even, they'd need a significant rise, close to 82.89%. Their performance this year, with a commendable 83.90% surge, just about compensates for the previous year's losses. But considering a peak-to-trough three-year decline of 49.34%, the recovery journey still has a way to go.

The "Magnificent" Roller Coaster. Source: Bloomberg

The Big Picture

Numbers, as they say, tell a story. But to understand the plot fully, one must consider various chapters and not just focus on the most captivating ones. The "Magnificent 7" saga is undoubtedly compelling, but it's essential to also understand the narratives of other benchmarks for a holistic market view. Recognizing these intricacies ensures informed decision-making for investors and advisors alike, providing a clearer perspective of the big picture.


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Unless otherwise indicated all performance is sourced from Bloomberg.


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