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MarketWatch: Top Crystal Ball Gazers See Stock Gains Ahead

By    |   Sunday, 12 Jan 2014 02:32 PM

Five big-name Wall Street forecasters with accurate track records of stock market predictions in recent years are still bullish on U.S. stocks, MarketWatch reported.

The advisers who have shown they have the right stuff — Laszlo Birinyi, James Paulsen, Craig Johnson, Mark Arbeter, and Jeremy Siegel — are still upbeat for 2014, but a couple of them also spot a yellow caution flag ahead, according to MarketWatch columnist Howard Gold.

Birinyi, president of the Birinyi Associates market research firm, said last fall he expected the S&P 500 will exceed 2,000 before the bull market ends, and still adhered to that optimism in his December writings, Gold said. The S&P 500 ended at 1842.37 Friday.

Editor’s Note: These 38 Investments Have a 96% Win Rate

Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, wrote last month, “We expect a volatile but essentially flat year for stocks in 2014, but also believe the bull market is likely to last several more years.”

Paulsen predicted S&P 500 earnings could reach $135 per share within five years, and its P/E ratio could hit 21. “This would imply a target price for the S&P 500 index of about 2,800, providing investors an annualized return of slightly more than 10% with dividends.”

Craig Johnson, technical analyst at Piper Jaffray, predicted the S&P 500 would hit 1,850 in 2013 – remarkably only two points higher than its eventual close of 1,848. Johnson said he expects a “meaningful pullback in the broad market” during 2014, but now has a year-end estimate for the S&P 500 of 2,100.

Mark Arbeter, a technical analyst at S&P Capital IQ, wrote recently that if the S&P 500 smashes through resistance at about 1,850, it could go all the way to 1,950. But he added last month his firm foresees “a major top occurring sometime in the first or second quarter of the new year, followed by a major decline of 10 percent to 20 percent, possibly culminating in a major low during the third or fourth quarter,” Gold reported.

Jeremy Siegel, author and professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is sticking to his usual perennial bull story for now, according to Gold.

On December 31, Siegel told CNBC that 18,000 is a “real fair market value” for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but he believes it could keep going 10 per to 20 percent beyond that figure, which would mean an eventual high somewhere between 19,800 and 21,600. The Dow ended at 16,437.05 Friday.

CNN Money reported its survey of 30 investment strategists and money managers came up with an average 2014 prediction that the S&P 500 will finish the year at 1,960 – up about 6 percent.

According to MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews reported its annual survey of Main Street retail investors — as opposed to Wall Street pros — came up with an average 2014 forecast that U.S. stocks will decline “at least”10 percent for the year.

Editor’s Note: These 38 Investments Have a 96% Win Rate

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Five big-name Wall Street forecasters — Laszlo Birinyi, James Paulsen, Craig Johnson, Mark Arbeter, and Jeremy Siegel — are still upbeat for 2014, but a couple of them also spot a yellow caution flag ahead, according to MarketWatch columnist Howard Gold.
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Sunday, 12 Jan 2014 02:32 PM
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