Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Cyclical Stock

What it is:

Cyclical stocks are those that tend to move strongly higher and lower along with the overall business cycle. These stocks represent ownership in companies that are very sensitive to economic fluctuations.

How it works (Example):

Typically, these securities move sharply higher when the economy is expanding. However, they also tend to lose value as economic conditions deteriorate. Although this concept is true of most stocks, it is particularly evident when it comes to shares of companies that operate in highly cyclical industries.

Auto manufacturing and residential construction are examples of cyclical industries. Other cyclical groups include transportation, oil services and mining.

Why it Matters:

Since cyclical stocks generally rise in good economic times and fall during bad times, investors attracted to cyclical stocks are faced with the arduous task of trying to time the market. This means they must try to predict where the bottom of the business cycle is in order to buy these stocks at the optimal time and then predict where the top of the cycle is in order to sell at the optimal time.

Regardless, timing the market can be hard, given the fact that some cyclical stocks start bouncing back before a recession is actually over. Holding the stock of companies in cyclical industries over the long-term is therefore a somewhat controversial issue because economic downturns can take years to recover from.

Related Terms View All
  • Depreciated Cost
    Another term for depreciated cost is net book value. The formula for depreciated cost is...
  • Oil Field
    Specifically, an oil field contains oil that is trapped by a layer of rock. Oil fields...
  • Samurai Market
    People in the United States are the most common users of this term. Samurai market is...
  • Eighthed
    Let's say Company XYZ is a big pension fund that wants to buy 500,000 shares of ABC...
  • Leg Out
    Let's say John Doe conducts an options straddle, which involves buying a call and a put...