The Disruptive Forces That Will Shape The S&P 500 In 2015

The collapse of oil prices was one of the major forces that rattled markets in 2014.

And S&P Capital IQ is forecasting that it will continue to be one of the most disruptive forces in 2015.

The firm’s Global Markets Intelligence equity research analysts published the most important themes to watch in each of the 10 S&P 500 sectors in 2015.

Michael Thompson, managing director of the team, told Business Insider: “What we want to do is get people thinking about what’s going to be special. People get caught up in price targets and things like that. We’re trying to give people a look forward on what’s really going to be affecting these industries.”


Sector: Consumer discretionary

Comment: 'The increasing use of mobile apps (via both smartphones and tablets) and Internet services will likely have a profound disruption on the consumer discretionary sector, including the media, retail/restaurant, and automobile industry groups, as consumers change the way they consume media as well as how they place orders and receive goods,' write S&P Capital IQ's Tuna Amobi and Efraim Levy.

Winners: Companies that are adapting to the ways their customers buy and use their products, including Time Warner Cable, Disney, CBS, Gap, Best Buy, Starbucks, Netflix, Amazon, DISH Network, Verizon, Sony, Macy's, Nordstrom, Target, and Chipotle.

Losers: Cablevision, Charter, and DIRECTV -- TV companies that do not have a strategy to counter the threat from streaming services.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

US Oil Exports

Sector: Energy

Comment: 'There is a reasonable chance that U.S. legislators will repeal the 40-year-old ban on exports of U.S. crude oil,' writes S&P Capital IQ's Stewart Glickman. 'The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented surge in crude oil production.'

Winners: US crude oil producers including EOG Resources, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Teekay and Ship Finance Intl.

Losers: Valero Energy, Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum -- all US refiners that could be sidestepped if some crude is not processed locally.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

Mobile Technology

Sector: Financial Services

Comment: 'Global Markets Intelligence foresees increased adoption of mobile technology, and predicts customers of all ages and education levels will feel increasingly comfortable with banking, trading, and shopping online,' write S&P Capital IQ's Kenneth Leon, Cathy Seifert and Erik Oja. 'Almost all bank branches and other brick-and-mortar financial services locations will shrink or close in the next few years to be replaced by virtual offerings.'

Winners: MasterCard, Visa, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, American Express, Discover Fin'l Services, Berkshire Hathaway and Progressive.

Losers: Small financial companies that may struggle to keep up with technological changes, including BancorpSouth, Cullen/Frost Bankers and WestAmerica Bancorp

Source: S&P Capital IQ

The Supreme Court

Sector: Healthcare

Comment: 'Since it was passed in March 2010, Obamacare has arguably been one of the most contentious and partisan pieces of legislation ever,' writes S&P Capital IQ's Jeffrey Loo. 'However, after years of challenges and threats, the central tenet of the law, which enables the vast majority of Americans to obtain health insurance, could be in jeopardy in 2015 because of seven words included within the law's voluminous text that explain who can qualify for health care subsidies: 'through an exchange established by the state'.'

Winners: None.

Losers: Tenet Healthcare, HCA Holdings, Community Health Systems, Aetna, WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, Laboratory Corp. of America, Quest Diagnostics, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

Significantly Lower Oil Prices

Sector: Industrials

Comment: 'A rapid drop in the price of oil has many potential implications outside of the energy sector, and GMI thinks these are mostly positive for the industrials sector,' writes S&P Capital IQ's Jim Corridore. 'GMI thinks the lower energy prices are sustainable and that this will help increase industrial activity in North America as the U.S. economy benefits from lower input prices, more money in consumer pockets, and likely lower transportation costs.'

Winners: Delta Air Lines, United Continental, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Air.

Losers: Foster Wheeler and Joy Global, which could suffer as drilling projects become unsustainable.

Source: S&P Capital IQ


Sector: Technology

Comment: 'GMI thinks 2015 will be the year when wearable technology pivots from limited-run products for tech-cognoscenti into an important hardware category,' writes S&P Capital IQ's Angelo Zino and Scott Kesler. 'The most anticipated wearable that will come to market in the coming months will be the Apple Watch.'

Winners: Apple and Intel.

Losers: None.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

Emergence of Real Estate Investment Trust Structures

Sector: Telecommunication Services

Comment: 'Telecom has seen its share of REITs emerge in recent years with tower companies, such as American Tower, Crown Castle, and others moving to become REITs,' write S&P Capital IQ's Angelo Zino and Scott Kesler. 'Although many of the larger players in the industry will watch closely to see how the investment community accepts the new vehicles, GMI thinks the overall trend will have a positive effect on the telecommunications sector.'

Winners: Fronteir Communications, CenturyLink and Cincinnati Bell.

Losers: None.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

Congressional EPA Action

Sector: Utilities

Comment: 'In past few years, the EPA has implemented many new rules surrounding emissions from electric power plants,' writes S&P Capital IQ's Christopher Muir. 'With the Republicans taking control of the Senate and widening their lead in the House, they could take action to limit the effect of the newly proposed EPA rules.'

Winners: The rules would increase the cost of electricity for consumers, who would in turn buy less. So no rules is good news for utility companies including Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, NextEra Energy, Southern Co.

Losers: None.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

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