Nov 19, 2020 - Economy

Fund managers are ultra-bullish on stocks amid the pandemic

Illustration of the Wall Street bull wearing a stethoscope.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fund managers surveyed by Bank of America are more optimistic about the stock market now than they’ve been in more than two years. The bank surveyed 216 fund managers who collectively oversee $573 billion.

Worth noting: The survey began as U.S. election results trickled in. It was still in progress when Pfizer and BioNTech released promising data about the efficacy of their coronavirus vaccine.

What they’re saying: “We say 'sell the vaccine' in coming weeks and months as we think we're close to 'full bull,'” Bank of America strategists wrote in a note responding to the survey’s results.

Details: A net 46% of fund managers are overweight equities — the highest share since January 2018.

  • A net 6% are taking higher than normal risk levels — another high dating back to January 2018.
  • Fund managers’ cash holdings fell below the pre-pandemic level — and are at the lowest in five years.

On the shape of the economic recovery ... 39% of investors believed there would be a “double-dip” recession, or W-shaped recovery. 24% said it would be U-shaped, while another 23% said the recovery would be V-shaped. (Notably missing: the “K-shaped” recovery.)

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