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Goldman: Small-cap equities to benefit more if domestic growth picks up

In a research note to clients last week, Goldman Sachs said it is forecasting the Russell 2000 index to generate a total return of 14% over the next 12 months, compared with 6% for the S&P 500 index. Small-cap equities, the firm says, are "well-positioned if domestic growth accelerates and investor preference for domestic cyclical exposure continues." Russell 2000 earnings per share, the firm says, are 1.6 times as sensitive to U.S. gross domestic product growth as S&P 500 EPS. According to Goldman's analysis, a 100 basis-point increase in U.S. real GDP growth would grow small-cap earnings by 8%, compared with only 5% for large-cap firms in the S&P 500.