We acknowledge that many publish thematic research but believe few address it comprehensively and regularly with a thoughtful emphasis on and experienced analysis of sectors.
Since December 2014, S&P Equity Research Services has written about industry elements that have affected individual sectors of the S&P 500 Index, including infrastructure (May 2015), investor activism (July 2015), and buybacks and dividends (October 2015). Now it's time to recap our 2015 predictions (see 2015 Sector Disruptors: Winners and Losers published Dec. 15, 2014) and offer some forecasts for 2016.
For 2015, we anticipated various disruptors including:
- Sustained lower energy and commodity prices with a positive impact on airlines and negative influence on materials and construction-related companies
- Increasing adoption and popularity of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services such as Netflix
- The easing of U.S. restrictions on crude oil exports
- The emergence of wearables as a key consumer technology category
- Continuing demand momentum for healthy consumables like organic and genetically modified organism (GMO)-free foods.
For 2016, we challenged our team to provide some new thought-provoking sector themes, and they include:
- Possible dividend cuts from large-cap energy companies
- High drug prices and transportation infrastructure spending as key debate topics during a presidential election year
- Technology companies becoming more aggressive with capital allocations
- The emergence of Blockchain as an important technology in the financials sector
- The impact of Millennials on consumer spending.
Additionally, for the first time in the Sector Disruptors series, we have tapped our international team members focused on the European and Asian regions. For Europe, we see the diverging monetary policies of the U.S. and European Union becoming increasingly important and having an impact on many companies. For Asia, a continuing shift to e-commerce and China consumerization will likely influence a variety of firms.
Thank you for reading, and here's to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2016.