Citigroup Sees US Stock Rally Expanding Beyond Tech

By Patricia Miller


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Citigroup (C stock) predicts US stock rally expanding beyond tech, offering diversification for retail investors. Adjusted sector recommendations and caution on market sentiment are important factors to consider.

visualizes the strategic shifts in the financial market as described, highlighting the transition from technology to a broader focus, encapsulated through abstract symbolism and elements.
Tech Sector Faces Downgrade as Citigroup Turns Attention to Defense

What You Need To Know

Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) strategists believe the US stock market rally will extend beyond the technology sector. They have adjusted their outlook on the tech sector, reducing their stance to market-weight from overweight and issuing an underweight recommendation for hardware companies. In contrast, they have raised consumer discretionary to overweight.

This shift reflects their belief in a growth-cyclical barbell strategy, which allows for a broader focus on defensive sectors that are more sensitive to interest rates. Within the tech sector, the strategists maintain an overweight stance on software and a market-weight stance on semiconductors. For the second quarter, they have also reduced financials to market-weight.

The S&P 500 is currently trading 3% above Citigroup's end-year target of 5,100, due to optimism around a soft landing and AI. However, the strategists caution that a gauge of investor sentiment has reached "euphoria" levels, which indicates a lower likelihood of positive returns in the next year.

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Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Diversification Opportunities: The broadening of the stock market rally beyond the technology sector offers retail investors the chance to diversify their portfolios. By exploring sectors beyond tech, investors can spread their risk and potentially benefit from different areas of the market.

  2. Adjusted Sector Recommendations: Citigroup's adjusted outlook provides valuable insights for retail investors. The shift from overweight to market-weight on tech, along with the underweight recommendation on hardware companies, suggests a potential change in performance and signals the need to reevaluate investment strategies.

  3. Consumer Discretionary Potential: With Citigroup strategists raising consumer discretionary to overweight, retail investors may find potential investment opportunities in this sector. This recommendation indicates optimism about consumer spending and economic recovery, giving retail investors a chance to capitalize on this growth.

  4. Defensive Sector Focus: The focus on defensive sectors, particularly those sensitive to interest rates, offers retail investors a chance to align their portfolios with potential market trends. Understanding these sectors and their performance dynamics can help investors make informed decisions about asset allocation.

  5. Cautions on Market Sentiment: Citigroup's note about euphoric levels of investor sentiment reminds retail investors to exercise caution. Being aware of the potential risks associated with heightened optimism can help investors manage their expectations and make more objective investment decisions.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Defensive investing

With a focus on defensive sectors and interest rate sensitivity, retail investors can explore defensive investing strategies to protect their portfolios during uncertain market conditions.

Defensive Investing focuses on securing a portfolio by choosing companies that are less sensitive to economic downturns.


The broadening stock rally beyond tech presents an opportunity for retail investors to diversify their portfolios by allocating investments across different sectors, thereby spreading risk.

Diversification spreads investments across various assets to reduce risk and volatility in a portfolio.

Sector Rotation

Retail investors can consider implementing a sector rotation strategy based on Citigroup's adjusted sector recommendations. This involves rotating investments into sectors that are expected to outperform while reducing exposure to sectors that may underperform.

Sector Rotation is the practice of shifting investment capital from one industry sector to another to take advantage of the economic cycle.

Growth Investing

Despite the caution on the tech sector, Citigroup maintains an overweight stance on software, indicating potential growth opportunities. Retail investors inclined towards growth investing can explore software companies that align with their investment objectives.

Growth investing focuses on stocks of companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to other stocks in the market; learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.

Value Investing

Citigroup's adjusted outlook on the tech sector, along with the recommendation to shift focus to defensive parts of the market, may indicate potential value investment opportunities. Retail investors can evaluate undervalued stocks in sectors that are expected to benefit from the broader stock rally.

Value investing searches for undervalued companies that trade for less than their intrinsic values, with the expectation that they will eventually be recognized by the market.

Read What Others Are Saying

Bloomberg: Citi Strategists Downgrade US Tech Stocks as Rally to Broaden

Reuters: Citi says 42% of energy clients lack climate transition plans

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What you should read next:

Popular ETFs

Some investors prefer to invest in stocks via an exchange-traded fund for ease and reduced risk. Some popular ETFs include the following:

  • Technology and Software Focus:

    • Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): Offers broad exposure to the tech sector, including software companies, which Citigroup strategists remain bullish on.

    • iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV): Specifically targets the software industry within the technology sector, potentially benefiting from the overweight stance on software.

  • Consumer Discretionary Enhancement:

    • Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY): Provides exposure to the consumer discretionary sector, which has been upgraded to overweight. This sector includes companies that tend to benefit from discretionary consumer spending.

  • Interest Rate Sensitive and Defensive Plays:

    • Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU): Focuses on utilities, a sector known for its defensive nature and sensitivity to interest rate changes. This might appeal to investors looking for stability amid broad market movements.

    • Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ): Real estate can also be sensitive to interest rate movements and offers a defensive play with potential for income through dividends.

  • Diversified Exposure to Offset Financials:

    • Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO): For investors looking to maintain broad market exposure while being cautious about the financial sector, this ETF tracks the S&P 500, offering a diversified portfolio across various sectors.

  • Emerging Markets for Diversification:

    • Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund ETF (VWO): As investors consider the advice to broaden out, looking beyond domestic markets and sectors could provide growth opportunities. This ETF offers exposure to emerging market equities.

Explore more on these topics:



This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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