The Big Winners When the Fed Cuts Rates

The Federal Reserve is now almost certain to cut interest rates at the end of the month. And as I explained in DailyWealth last week, that's huge for stocks.

If history is any guide, it could ignite a major rally over the next year. So you really want to own stocks now, before the news officially hits.

Still, simply buying the overall market isn't your best option. There are a few sectors with histories of even better returns in times like today. And those are far better places to put money to work right now.

Let me explain...

You might not think about it much, but opportunity cost is hugely important in investing.

Imagine you could transport yourself back to 1997 with $1,000 to invest... and that you bought shares of Best Buy (BBY). By the time 2019 rolled back around, your investment would have increased by 4,400%. Pretty darn good!

But what if you'd bought Amazon (AMZN) instead? If you'd taken that same $1,000 and bought in at the company's IPO price, your investment would have risen more than 126,421%.

That's several orders of magnitude better. You can see it in the chart below...

This chart uses weekly data, but you get the idea. The outperformance here is phenomenal.

Everything is relative, including gains. And that's the basic idea of opportunity cost. Even if you're getting good returns, could you be getting even better ones somewhere else?

That's an important question to answer right now, with a rate cut looming.

As I explained last week, stocks have historically risen 11% the year after a new rate cut when the economy was in a recession. Gains were even better without a recession (at times like today), up 24%.

Certain sectors did much better than the market, though. Over the same 12 months, the communications services sector rose 27.5%. Technology climbed 27.1%. And health care jumped 26.1%.

Even the "worst" performers were hardly laggards. The materials sector gained 11%. Utilities tacked on 12.7%. And consumer discretionary stocks jumped 20.1%.

It's not that you would be making a bad investment in the utility sector... But you would be making a better one in the technology sector. That could be the difference between average returns and great returns.

So if the Fed is going to cut rates, we want to be prepared by owning the right areas of the market. This breakdown doesn't get right down to the individual companies, but it at least gives you a direction in which to point your looking glass.

And that means you'll be prepared and ready to act.

Investing isn't just about what you do. You need to have a well-thought-out game plan behind it. And understanding the opportunity cost is crucial to any great investing plan.

History says you want to own stocks ahead of the next rate cut. And when it comes, communications, technology, and health care are the best places for your investment dollars.

Good investing,

C. Scott Garliss

Editor's note: At Stansberry NewsWire, Scott and his team of analysts show you what's behind the market's moves. Think of it as your "direct line" to Wall Street... with up-to-the-minute news and commentary, as well as market research and investing insights. Learn more about this valuable service – including how you can sign up for free – right here.

Further Reading

"The best thing to do today is to position yourself ahead of this looming interest-rate cut," Scott writes. For more background details on the Fed's decision – and what it means for investors – check out his essay: The Fed Could Soon Boost Stocks by 24%.

The Melt Up in stocks is still on... And the Fed isn't the only reason why. The market recently gave us a surprising sign that more gains are ahead this year. Get the full story from Steve right here.

Market Notes
THIS 'FIXER-UPPER STOCK' IS BACK ON THE RISE

Today, we’re checking in on one of our favorite investing strategies in action…

Regular readers know we look for cheap, hated assets that have the potential for huge gains as the market evens out. Steve coined the term “bad-to-less-bad trading” to describe this strategy. We recently covered this theme with fast-casual chain Shake Shack (SHAK). Today’s company is another perfect example…

Home Depot (HD) is a $240 billion home-improvement giant. It sells anything a homeowner may need for projects around the house: paint, plumbing supplies, lighting, and more. But last year, Home Depot’s stock fell more than 25% on fears that higher interest rates would stifle the housing market. Nothing had changed within the business… Home Depot’s sales grew 7% in 2018. And once the fears blew over – and Fed policy changed – investors began piling back in…

As you can see in today’s chart, HD has soared since bottoming in December. Shares are up almost 40% since their December low, and they just hit a fresh all-time high. It’s more proof of the gains that are possible as things get “less bad”…