Stock guru Byron Wien, now a top executive at money management titan Blackstone, says stocks have more room to rise.
He’s sticking to the forecast he made in January that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will reach 1,200 by year end.
“In March, that didn’t look too good, and people wouldn’t make eye contact with me,” the vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services told Bloomberg.
“But now, with three months to go, that looks like it may be realized. The horse is corporate earnings and economic activity. The horse drives the cart.”
Wien, the former strategist for hedge fund Pequot Capital Management, is still the most bullish strategist surveyed by Bloomberg. The average estimate of strategists in its survey called for a year-end level of 1,037 for the S&P 500.
As you can probably guess, Wien is also more bullish on earnings than the consensus forecast.
“What’s going to drive the stock market is whether the earnings momentum that we’ve seen is sustained,” he said.
“The economy will be stronger, and corporate earnings both in the third and fourth quarters will be better than expected.”
Doug Lockwood, chief investment officer of Cornerstone Wealth Management, agrees with Wien.
Lockwood tells CNBC that fears of a double-dip recession will keep analysts’ earnings projections low.
"That simply sets up the ability to have further positive earnings surprises," he says.
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