Wall Street Strategists Expect Stocks to Keep Climbing in 2015
As we highlighted in Friday’s Morning MoneyBeat, 22 strategists are estimating an average increase of 8.2% for the S&P 500 in 2015, according to Birinyi Associates. If that happens, the S&P would finish 2015 at 2228.
The predictions of an 8.2% increase follow three straight years of double digits gains for the index. It climbed an eye-popping 63.7% in that span.
The S&P has risen an average of 5.6% annually since 1927, according to Birinyi.
Positives for the stock market this year include an improving U.S. economy, continued strength from corporate America and low oil prices. On the flip side, market watchers see the record rally decelerating – albeit only slightly – as the Federal Reserve is poised to scale back its stimulus program and global growth sputters.
Thomas Lee of FundStrat Advisors is among the most optimistic of strategists for a second year running. As we noted in Wednesday’s 2014 strategist scorecard, Mr. Lee’s initial target overshot the S&P’s final level by only 16 points while his peers underestimated the market’s strength by an average 118 points.
David Kostin of Goldman Sachs, on the other hand, is the most cautious of the 22 strategists Birinyi surveyed. He anticipates a mild 2% gain on the S&P and writes that the price-to-earnings multiple expansion of the six-year bull market is over.
Here’s where the strategists surveyed by Birinyi stand on 2015: