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‘Day of reckoning’ is coming for high-flying tech stocks, Wells Fargo warns

‘Day of reckoning’ is coming for high-flying tech stocks, Wells Fargo warns

05 Jul 2021

Wells Fargo Securities’ Chris Harvey is doubling down on his Big Tech warning, saying a “day of reckoning” is ahead.

He’s urging investors to take profits in light of risks associated with rising interest rates.

“The premium that you’re paying is still exceptionally high,” the firm’s head of equity strategy told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Friday. “We believe that premium has got to compress. Two, we think that the next 25 basis point move in the 10-year [Treasury Note yield] is… up not down.”

After a surge earlier this year, the 10-year yield is trending lower. It ended the week at 1.43% on Friday, down almost 17% over the past three months. The drop has been benefitting growth stocks, particularly Big Tech.

But Harvey warns a significant reversal is virtually unavoidable, citing the fundamental economic backdrop. Rising rates will set the stage for a double-digit pullback in momentum growth stocks. He predicts it could happen later this summer or early fall.

“The tech companies and the growth companies that are selling at very high multiples,” he noted. “Even though they have high growth rates, the high multiples are what’s going to do them in.”

Harvey called the March rebound in Big Tech a “head fake” on “Trading Nation” in late April. He’s sticking with the call and is signaling more concern now with stocks in rally mode.

On Friday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at all-time highs. It closed at 14,639.33, up 121% since the Covid-19 low on March 23, 2020. The broader S&P 500 and Dow also closed at fresh record highs.

If tech’s high-flyers correct, Harvey expects the fallout to affect the broader market due to the group’s dominance.

However, he’s maintaining his bullishness on market names tied the economic recovery.

“They’ve managed their earnings expectations quite well, and they’ve been much more conservative than we thought they would be,” said Harvey. “We think this cycle lasts longer than many people expect and many people believe.”

His top cyclical picks include large money center banks, chemical and aerospace companies.

“Many of the cyclical companies still have mid-single-digit to double-digit upside from here on a relative and absolute basis,” Harvey added.

Harvey has an S&P 500 year-end price target of 3,850, which implies a 12% dip from Friday’s close.