Last week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how big of a percentage gain or loss the S&P 500 index will realize in 2019. Just under 45% of respondents expect an increase, though about half of them anticipate gains of 5% or less. Economic growth, earnings growth and the possibility of a resolution to the trade war with China were given as reasons. About 19% of respondents think stocks will fall, with a third of them anticipating losses in excess of 20%. Trade and Washington politics were given as reasons for the pessimistic outlook. Almost 13% think the stocks will end the year unchanged, with many expecting continued volatility to occur.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “For 2019, about 8%. Wages and salaries will be up nicely; assumes China tariff issues are resolved.”
- “Negative 20% as I expect trade issues to slow the world’s economies.”
- “I think that in 2019, the market will go up and down and will end with a single-digit loss or gain.”
- “Maybe 3% due to gridlock in Congress.”
- “5%; the downturn in December was overdone.”
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