Investor expectations about stock prices have eased since the start of the year, despite gains in the market, a private survey released on Friday showed.
The probability of an increase in the price of a diversified stock portfolio during the year ahead was judged in April at 52 percent by investors with portfolios valued at more than $25,000, down from 54.1 percent in January, according to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers.
Those percentages are still up from ones recorded since 2008, including 37 percent recorded at the start of 2009.
"Investors may be more cautious about longer-term prospects given experiences with volatile stock prices as well as lingering doubts about the sustainability of the pace of the economic recovery," Richard Curtin, director of the surveys, said in a statement.
The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index is up about 8 percent since the start of the year. A Reuters poll last month had a median forecast of 1,225 for an end-2010 level in the S&P 500. The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 1,208.67.
Stock ownership — directly or as part of mutual funds or pension accounts — was reported by two-thirds of all households in the survey, with the typical household owning $75,079 of stocks from October 2009 to April 2010.
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