According to analysts on Wall Street, U.S. stocks have remained relatively flat in 2023, with the exception of a few high-performing technology stocks. However, these analysts remain optimistic and project that the S&P 500 index will rise by 19% over the next 12 months. This would require the index to exceed 5,000 for the first time. The projections are based on expectations of high earnings growth in various sectors, with technology, consumer discretionary, and real estate expected to see the largest advances. On the other hand, energy stocks are expected to have the smallest price increase.
The bullish outlook for the S&P 500 is based on contrasting forecasts of earnings growth. While the past three quarters have seen declines in earnings, analysts expect a growth of 12.2% for calendar-year 2024. Despite these positive projections, the bottom-up earnings estimate for the third quarter has decreased slightly. The optimistic outlook for the index has also allowed analysts to identify the top outperforming stocks and the ones expected to lag behind. SolarEdge Technologies, Inc., Insulet Corporation, and DexCom, Inc. are among the top performers, while Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., Tyson Foods, Inc., and Consolidated Edison, Inc. are expected to be the laggards.
Although U.S. stocks have experienced a slide since August, with the S&P 500 falling 5.5%, it is still up 13% since the beginning of the year. The recent stock sell-off has been attributed to rising Treasury yields, particularly the 10-year note and 30-year bond yields. Despite these challenges, analysts remain bullish on the outlook for U.S. stocks, with high expectations for future performance.