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It’s December, which means that Wall Street strategy teams are giving their educated guesses about where the S&P 500 will end up at the end of 2024.
Our Chart of the Week rounds many of them up. And while the initial predictions were mostly about how much the index would rise, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley raise the question of what direction.
Specific predictions aside, these forecasts are most useful for visibility on how these teams are thinking about known knowns, known unknowns, and other data on hand — with the understanding that there will always be new unknown unknowns, tail risks, black swans, and investors arising over time.
As our Head of News Myles Udland wrote recently, the S&P 500 strategist forecasts we’re seeing are almost secondary to the Fed forecasts made by Wall Street’s economics teams. The Fed finally cutting rates, inflation abating, and consumers and their “resiliency” progress are dominating the 2024 preseason conversation.
At the same time, DataTrek’s Nick Colas issued a warning that many investors have learned the hard way. Though he’s written at length how poorly stocks do in a recession, he advises that “the worst rookie mistake in investing is thinking that the stock market and economy move in lockstep.”
“Stocks look forward,” Colas added. “Yes, a mild recession could take stock prices lower for a time, but we’re talking about 2024 returns today, not a quarter or two of equity market performance.”