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ING Strategist Cote: Three-Year Bull Market Has Room to Run

Thursday, 15 March 2012 08:21 AM

The bull run in U.S. equities markets has a ways to go, and investors should jump in now and buy on corporate earnings, says Doug Cote, chief market strategist with ING Investment Management.

The U.S. economy, meanwhile, enjoys a firewall buffering it from the European debt crisis, which should further entice investors back into equities markets.

"This market's got legs," says Doug Cote, chief market strategist with ING Investment Management, whose year-end target for the S&P 500 is at 1,425, CNNMoney reports.

The S&P 500 currently stands around 1,395.

"We now have an effective fence built around Europe's debt crisis, and can focus on the underlying strength in fundamentals."

Corporate earnings, which are hitting all-time highs, will continue to drive stock prices even if earnings growth slows, Cote adds.

"We're advising our clients against waiting for a pullback because we don't think they've missed the big rally — the market has a ways to go before it catches up with fundamentals."

Others agree the rally will continue.

"The momentum we're seeing is likely to continue," says David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston, according to Reuters.

"You need to be overweight stocks right now," Joy says, adding "in the absence of bad news, I see no need for us to have any kind of serious correction."

Some experts are urging a little more caution, as 2011 kicked off with optimism and high hopes only to finish the year mired in uncertainty and volatility.

"We made the same call last year in April when the market was at multi-year highs because the risk-reward picture didn't make sense," says Bill Strazzullo of Bell Curve Trading, CNNMoney adds.

"We're back at those levels now."

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