Definition of the Russell 2000 Index :
The Russell 2000 is a so-called small-cap index that includes the shares of 2,000 companies that are part of the Russell 3000 Index. It is an index created in 1984 by the Frank Russell Company. It is currently maintained by the FTSE Russell which is a subsidiary of the LSE or London Stock Exchange Group.
It should also be noted that the Russell Index is currently considered to be the common benchmark for mutual funds or mutual funds that identify themselves as small caps. Conversely, the S&P 500 Index is used primarily for large-cap stocks. This index concretely measures the performance of the shares of companies with a small or medium capitalization. We also know that this index represents approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index.
With regard to the latest figures for this index, it should be noted that as of December 31, 2019, the weighted average market capitalization of a company in the index was $2.48 billion with a median market capitalization of $821 million. The largest company in the index had a market capitalization of $8.27 billion.
There are, of course, other indices that are almost similar to the Russell 2000 and that relate to small-cap companies, such as Standard & Poor's S&P 600, which is used less frequently, or other indices of financial information providers.
Advantages of the Russell 2000 Index :
The Russell 2000 Index has many advantages, including a sector composition that is primarily focused on financials, technology and cyclical stocks, which are over-represented in the Index and thus weigh 26, 14.3 and 11.3%. Less cyclical stocks represent less than 3% of this composition, which leads to high volatility in the Russell 2000 Index price. As a stock market asset, this index is therefore perfectly suited to traders who are looking for such volatility.
We also note that the Russell 2000 outperformed the S&P500 index in its expansion phase, partly because of its high volatility but also because of low liquidity, which is conducive to large movements. However, we should remain cautious as small caps are often more sensitive to panic movements in phases of index stress.
The Russell 2000 will therefore be favoured for trading in bull markets rather than in phases of stock market stress, which generally lead to a massive withdrawal of investors from small caps in favour of companies that are financially stronger and more suited to defensive management.
Lee trading on the Russell 2000 thus offers many advantages and opportunities but remains reserved for the most seasoned traders who will be able to understand and anticipate market reactions.
Can we predict the future evolution of the Russell 2000 index?
It is of course possible to predict the future development of the Russell 2000 Index in a more or less relevant way. To do so, it is of course necessary to be able to take into account the various elements of fundamental analysis likely to have an influence on the companies that make up the index and on the US economy in general. These may be economic factors or political factors.
This fundamental analysis should be carried out taking into account also the period over which you wish to invest. Thus, indicators will be chosen more or less punctual or regular depending on the strategy you wish to implement. It should be borne in mind here that the Russell 2000 index is a very important index with numerous quotations and that it is therefore almost impossible to study each stock individually.
In order to forecast the future evolution of this index, we will not forget the technical analysis which can be interesting in addition to the fundamental analysis. This will be used in particular to assess the volatility and liquidity of this market and to validate or invalidate the signals obtained through fundamental analysis of this stock as a stock.
How to analyse the Russell 2000 Index price?
In order to successfully implement an effective trading strategy on the Russell 2000 Index price, it is important to be familiar with the factors and elements that will have the greatest influence on this asset.
Because the Russell 2000 is an index with a particularly balanced sectoral distribution, it is influenced by macroeconomic variables such as interest rates, inflation rates, general employment, non-farm employment, manufacturing sentiment and other factors. These indicators have a direct influence on the price of stocks included but also affect other parts of the US financial market.
Of course, there are other factors that will influence the price of this index and its evolution, as well as the weight of the stocks that make it up and the individual sectors represented in it. We know, for example, that the value of the US dollar will have a direct impact on the index, as will the price of raw materials such as gold, platinum, copper or iron ore.
Other elements that will influence the price of the Russell 2000 Index include, for example, market sentiment, which is changing, the behaviour of speculators and geopolitical tensions in countries such as North Korea, the Middle East and China.
Let's recall here that the Russell 2000 is an index that is increasingly followed by traders and reflects the health of small and medium sized American companies. It is therefore fairly easy to find reliable and economic information about these factors.
Of course, you should also perform a technical analysis of this index before taking any positions, as the graphical indicators can confirm or refute the signals you've obtained through fundamental analysis.
How to invest on the Russell 2000 online?
For some time now, it has been possible for retail investors to invest in the Russell 2000 Index directly online. To do so, it is necessary to use a CFD or Contracts for Difference trading platform giving access to this index.
On these platforms, you will be able to access the Russell 2000 Index derivatives and take bull or bear positions on the Russell 2000 Index from various interfaces including online platforms, mobile platforms and automated trading software. Some brokers that offer this index for trading combine it with a leverage effect of up to 20:1, but this leverage is reserved for seasoned traders and is not recommended for traders who do not have a perfect command of the stock market.
One of the special features of CFDs in trading is that they allow short selling, i.e. taking a position on a sale without going through a buy. This makes it possible to invest, depending on your strategy, on all movements of the Russell 2000, even if the market falls.