The Magic 8 Ball Says…
It's that time of the year when Wall Street analysts reflect on their economic and stock market anticipations from December 2022 and make their predictions for 2023.
Admittedly, it's an exercise that involves peering into the future with opaque-tinted glasses. Nobody last year would have scribbled down in their new 2022 planner events like the war in Ukraine, an ongoing oil crisis, and stubbornly high inflation (ok, maybe that one was obvious).
With the S&P down almost 20% and the Nasdaq over 30% for the year, we are all more susceptible to any inkling of optimism that might leak out from the major Wall Street banks, so let's dive into some informed clairvoyance.
In the short term, the macroeconomic picture looks grim as consumers and companies will continue to cut discretionary spending and investments, according to JP Morgan. However, the silver lining is that once the Fed raises rates to a level that tames inflation sufficiently, they predict the S&P could rise 8% by the end of 2023.
Morgan Stanley is a bit more conservative, predicting that the S&P will end at or around the 3,900 level, basically flat. This wouldn't be too bad in this environment. Likewise, Goldman sees stocks continuing to slide in the first half of the year and eventually ending in the flat to slightly higher range.
One bright spot for the market in 2023: Fixed Income. While bonds were a losing trade in 2022, they could be the biggest winners of 2023 as the Fed becomes less hawkish. Vanguard predicts bonds could return between 4-5%.
We can all agree that 2022 was a rough year that we would like to put behind us. While I'm sure 2023 will bring its fair share of unexpected twists and turns, it will be a nice sigh of relief to start with a blank slate next week.
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