Tags: Siegel | Dow | 17000 | year-end

Jeremy Siegel: Dow Could Reach 17,000 By Year-End

By Dan Weil   |   Monday, 28 Oct 2013 12:48 PM

The party isn't over for stocks yet, says market guru Jeremy Siegel, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index hit yet another record high Monday, and he tells CNBC the Dow Jones Industrial Average will soon reach an all-time peak too.

Siegel predicts the Dow will end the year at 16,000 to 17,000. The latter level would represent a 9 percent increase from its Monday morning level of 15,562. The Dow set its record high of 15,710 Sept. 18.

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So what's going to push the market higher?

"I think the economy's going to hold in here, and tapering has been delayed," Siegel proclaims.

Economists don't expect the Federal Reserve to curb its quantitative easing until March, he says.

"So there are no major uncertainties that are hanging over the market, at least in these two months coming up."

Fourth-quarter earnings will likely prove to be strong, Siegel asserts.

"One of the good things about rising interest rates is that the pension funds are a little bit better funded this year than they were last year," he notes. Pension funds earn much of their income from fixed-income investments.

An increase in pension fund earnings means companies don't have to worry as much about pension shortfalls.

"And that was one of the things that dragged down fourth quarter earnings last year," Siegel argues. "I think we get a little tail wind on earnings."

The market also will benefit from the fact that companies are increasing their dividends 10 to 15 percent a year, Siegel adds.

Asked what poses a threat to U.S. stocks, Siegel says he was worried when the 10-year Treasury yield rose to about 3 percent in September.

In addition, investors may be too bullish about Europe's recovery. "The euro at $1.38 seems too high to me," he contends. It traded at $1.3789 Monday morning.

"But none of that, I think, is going to be really critical to bringing down the U.S. market," Siegel asserts. "This is a very favorable climate for equities."

Many investors share Siegel's bullishness.

"Optimism over corporate earnings and the fact that there’s no end in sight to the lax monetary policy of the Fed have combined to leave equity traders on the front foot as the new week gets underway," analysts at Monex Capital writes in a commentary obtained by MarketWatch.

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CNBC: Signs Are Flashing of an Overbought Stock Market

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