Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Wells Fargo's 2024 Market Forecast: Caution Amid Volatility

Wells Fargo Securities has unveiled its 2024 stock market forecast, and Chris Harvey, the firm's head of equity strategy, anticipates a bumpy ride towards his year-end S&P 500 target of 4,625. Expressing caution, Harvey notes the market's sensitivity to economic growth and Federal Reserve actions. While he envisions a stronger second half, the first half could be "really, really sloppy."

Harvey's year-end target is a modest 75 points above the recent S&P 500 close, and he remains skeptical about the potential for a substantial surge, dismissing the idea of reaching the 5,000 mark. In his 2024 outlook, Harvey advises investors to prepare for a "trader's market" rather than a stable "buy-and-hold" scenario. He emphasizes a risk-averse stance, particularly considering the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) uptick.

Highlighting the challenge of a higher cost of capital limiting upward multiples, Harvey remains cautious about setting significantly higher price targets. However, he identifies opportunities in oversold areas, recently upgrading utilities and health care due to their favorable valuations and decent fundamentals, areas where many investors haven't ventured yet.

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