Back on form
After years of underperformance, companies with a smaller market capitalisation are rising faster than bigger blue-chip names. The Russell 2000 index of smaller US-listed companies is up by more than 47% since the start of November, when markets began to shoot higher on vaccine optimism, and has advanced 15% year to date. By comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 is up 19.5% since November and 4% this year. The Russell 2000 is also expected to benefit from a boost to banks, given their weight in the index.
Life’s a gas
Macquarie Group has emerged as a beneficiary of the deep freeze that led to blackouts and soaring energy prices in Texas and the central US last week, forecasting a A$300m boost to profits on a surge in demand for its natural gas shipping business. The Australian company is one of the biggest traders of natural gas and electric power in the US, transmitting gas on about 80% of major pipelines across the country.
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