Cover CMC Markets offers insights into the potential market trends for 2021 (Photo: Getty Images)

CMC Markets looks at key market events in 2020 and picks some industry sectors and potential market trends to keep an eye on for 2021

It’s often said that US elections are about the economy. As Joe Biden goes through the transition process, investors will be asking what his presidency will mean for the markets.

Even the pandemic has not derailed the market, but it remains to be seen if the historic gains of the last four years will continue next year, as Biden has pledged to tighten controls on the technology companies. However, his more stable approach to leadership could have a calming effect, especially if he embraces a more coherent foreign policy agenda.

While the technology sector might feel nervous about a Biden administration, renewables could well continue their recent outperformance. A green new deal, while disclaimed by Biden, has been promoted by some Democrats.

There are even some corners of technology that may continue to grow, such as gaming. With two new consoles launching in November—Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PS5—expectations are running high. Top gaming companies such as Take-Two Interactive, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts will also likely see an increase in their stocks in 2021. While Nintendo lags the market leaders and doesn’t have a new console scheduled, analysts see the stock as significantly undervalued.

The pandemic has also spurred interest in certain technology sectors, such as biotechnology. The potential for these companies to transform healthcare is as exciting as any other technological breakthrough, and even more so in the wake of Covid-19. In a world of social distancing, contactless payments are another strong pick, led by Square and PayPal, which have seen strong gains already this year.

There are also reasons to be cautious. With fears over the massive amounts of stimulus spending unleashed worldwide in 2020, precious metals have proven a popular safe haven trade in 2020 and may continue to offer upside. Gold was priced at US$2,000 an ounce for the first time in August and silver has also surged, though it is still well below the record highs of 2011.

So, naturally, investors will wonder where the S&P 500 will be in a few months, when 2020 becomes 2021. In a CNBC poll in October, eight analysts predicted that it will finish somewhere between 3,400 and 3,600, with five predicting between 3,000 and 3,200.

Corporate earnings may help with the recovery. It is expected that the recent economic rebound will equal to better earnings. However, this also hinges on several factors, including whether coronavirus cases will increase during the colder months, when a vaccine will become available, and any negative effects from US politics.

And so as the year draws to a close and investors start preparing their portfolios for 2021, it appears that certain sectors in technology such as gaming, contactless payment systems and healthcare solutions, as well as renewable energy and precious metals such as gold and silver, will be the key industries to consider.

CMC Markets launched in 1989 and has since expanded to 13 countries worldwide and become a trusted provider for over one million clients globally. During the past two years alone, CMC Markets has won more than 50 global awards recognising its dedication to personalised client service, value for money, technology and innovation.

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