Get Ready for a 10% Rally in S&P 500

June 24, 2022 9:45 AM EDT

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Equity strategists at Stifel think the S&P 500 could surge higher this summer, led by cyclical growth stocks including tech, despite being in a secular or long-term bear market. Analysts are calling for a roughly 10% surge that could take the index to 4,150. The prediction isn't for a new bull market, but a medium-term "relief rally."

Barry Bannister, Stifel’s Chief Equity Strategist, explained, "We have described the way in which the S&P 500 in 2022 likely entered a 'secular bear market' although the process is not linear, and we see a relief rally led by Cyclical Growth to 4,150 for the S&P 500 in summer 2022 as oil prices fall and the market looks ahead to a possible Fed rate pause at their Dec-2022 meeting."

The strategist sees the PMI Manufacturing index pulling back to a low-50s level soon, indicating slower GDP growth but not a 2022 recession. This could set up a classic case of sell the rumor buy the fact for investors.

Bannister also thinks Ukraine’s cost to the West has become untenable as GDP slows with inflation, and there could be a ceasefire that could result in much lower oil prices, $85 per barrel by December of this year. Investors could also get even more relief if the Fed pauses rate hikes around the same time.

“…this stock market is looking for good inflation news, which is oil,” wrote Bannister, adding, “We see Core PCE inflation slowing to the Fed’s view of 2.7% by 2023, which we expect to prompt a Dec-2022 Fed pause.”

The S&P 500 is down 21% since the start of the year amid fears of a recession, and investors have sold cyclicals in favor of defense, setting the stage for a bounce higher in technology stocks and similar areas of the market.

“The S&P 500 already reflects a steep EPS recession, but our earnings estimates do not, for now, corroborate that fear,” said Bannister. “The S&P 500 has removed all COVID froth, but we see no U.S. recession in 6 months and a summer rally +10% to 4,150.”

By Louis Juricic

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