The strategists that Barron’s surveyed for its 2009 investment outlook have ended up faring pretty well as a group, with their average S&P 500 forecast of 1045 coming in about 6% below the index’s current level. Now, the dozen strategists that Barron’s is surveying this year are predicting more modest gains for 2010.
The strategists — half of whom participated in last year’s survey and half of whom are new — are predicting that the S&P will rise an average of about 12% in 2010, finishing the year around 1239. “The rough consensus among this group is that stocks are good investments, what with cash earning nothing and Treasury yields pathetically low,” writes Barron’s Kopin Tan. “But the case these strategists make for stocks is peppered with caveats and ‘buts,’ and their year-end targets range widely, from 1120 to 1350.”
“No one expects a rip-roaring economic recovery, either,” writes Tan. “Their forecasts for gross-domestic-product growth lie between 2.3% and 4%, well below the average 6% rate of economic expansion historically seen in the year following a recession.”