The stampede to record highs will continue in the new year, said one of Wall Street’s biggest bulls.
Jonathan Golub, Credit Suisse’s chief U.S. equity strategist, said he expects the S&P 500 to rally another 7 percent plus from current levels and that there are several key factors that will continue to drive markets next year.
In fact, the market’s big run in 2017 was a “surprise rally,” said the strategist, especially given economic factors that could very well have become headwinds.
“The biggest issue was a very good economic backdrop not only in the U.S. but around the world,” Golub said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “Against that, normally what happens is wages go up and it squeezes margins and it gets the Fed involved. But that didn’t happen this year.”
Instead, said Golub, wages actually flattened, which means company margins weren’t under pressure. That, fueled by better-than-expected tech earnings, sent the tech sector soaring, which led the market to new highs. Not only does Golub see the same trends continuing in 2018, but he said the potential tax plans’ effect will be another factor that kicks the market into high gear.
“I think we’re going to see the economic upsides from these tax changes start to hit in late 2018,” he said. “With respect to wages, they are probably going to begin to tick up, and we know the Fed’s going to be taking some more action. So that may be a little bit less positive than last year, but still pretty good.”
“Are we going to see a 20 percent return? Probably not. But will we see a double-digit return? I think that we probably will,” he added. His current year-end price target on the S&P 500 is 2,875.
As a result, Golub said that investors should be looking to sectors that also “win” from the tax plan. While he thinks retail stocks and the utilities sector could see a bounce, Golub said, financials will be the best bet for investors going into 2018. Especially if wages do increase and the Fed raises interest rates, banks will be in the best position to rally off both a rate increase and tax reform at the same time, the strategist said.
Markets were mixed on Wednesday, though the S&P 500 was still up 20 percent year to date.