The market's most speculative stocks stumble

Investors appear to be losing their taste for high-valuation stocks.

The two names with the highest price-to-earnings ratios in the S&P 500, Netflix and Amazon, have each slid about 15 percent this year. This after an exemplary 2015 for both.

For Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at Convergex, this is a sign that investors are "very much minding [valuation] now."

More generally, Colas sees signs that the long outperformance of growth stocks as compared to value names has reached an end.

"For the last 10 years, growth stocks have outperformed value stocks on the order of 2 percent on a compounded annual basis," Colas said Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

"That's a real outlier kind of observation," and as relative performance reverts to the mean, "we're expecting value to outperform growth in 2016."

Indeed, the S&P 500 growth index has slid more than 3 percent this year, while the S&P 500 value index is down just 1 percent. Growth stocks are names like Apple, Facebook and Amazon that are increasing earnings and sales (and tend to have higher valuations), while value stocks include those trading at low prices compared to their earnings and book values, such as Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Wells Fargo.

Of course, in the type of market that sees investors shy away from risk, value stocks should be expected to do relatively well.

Marko Kolanovic, global head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy at JPMorgan, wrote in a recent note that due to his belief that the S&P 500 will be up against serious headwinds, "we think there are better opportunities in value stocks ... as compared to broad S&P 500 exposure."

More generally, Kolanovic makes a similar point to Colas.

"We think the outperformance of value assets will continue," he wrote Friday. "The initial momentum-value move was largely driven by unwinds of extreme positioning," which he believes are destined to be reversed.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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