Displaying items by tag: Goldman Sachs
The annual next-year forecast cycle for Wall Street’s investment banks is in and some of the findings are interesting. As usual, banks are fairly bullish. However, that was certainly not automatic this year given the huge tumult in markets in 2020. One particular forecast stood out—Goldman Sachs. The bank’s research team, led by David Kostin, has its official 2021 S&P 500 price target as 4,200, or just about 14% ahead of today. Interestingly, the bank also thinks gold is going to rise strongly, from the mid 1,800s today to 2,300. According to Kostin, “On absolute metrics like price/earnings...the market is very expensive relative to its history, in the 90th percentile or greater … But relative to interest rates, the stock market is somewhat attractively valued. Those are two different stories—absolute valuation versus relative valuation”.
FINSUM: As tough as it is to swallow on a historical basis, we think the interest-rates measured basis for current valuations makes a great deal of sense.
Goldman Sachs went on the record with a bold call last week. They told investors that despite all the fears in the market, a big correction WAS NOT coming. Alessio Rizzi and his team at Goldman say that many indicators are showing a bullish outlook, and that big losses don’t seem likely. According to Rizzi, “more moderate risky asset returns are likely from here, rather than an imminent risk of a sizable correction”. One indicator Goldman cited as very bullish was the ratio between puts and calls. Right now the market is deeply favoring calls, with the ratio nearing the limits of its normal distribution.
FINSUM: So bulls look at this and say “aha, I’m right, the market will rise”; and bears say “exactly as expected, this is a contrarian indicator”! In our opinion, on the whole, there is plenty to be optimistic about.
The market has been doing very well since October 30th, up around 9%. Goldman thinks even bigger gains are coming for the S&P 500. The bank has been encouraged by investors’ response after the election and thinks that the vaccine is really in the driver’s seat. The bank’s research team has significantly upgraded their earnings forecasts for next year and 2022 based on the better-than-expected recovery. According to Barron’s, a few assumptions underpin Goldman’s outlook, “at least one vaccine becoming widely available in the U.S., less drastic changes in policy because Congress is most likely to be divided, and the continued V-shaped economic recovery”. Goldman’s official forecast for the S&P 500 at the end of 2022 is 4,300 and a 20% gain from now through the end of 2021.
FINSUM: The “continued v-shaped recovery” is the most volatile aspect of these assumptions, but they also discounted a potentially positive one—another stimulus package. The forecast seems reasonable.
Goldman Sachs is stressed about the election. In particular, they are concerned about what a contested outcome could mean for stock prices. Because of that, they think the debates which started this week have the potential to be an “important catalyst for investors to assess risks”. The debates have the possibility of swinging the election strongly one way or the other, which means they can be tipping points for investors. “One way to lower the odds of a contested outcome (that brings noise and volatility) is via a large margin of victory that cannot be undermined”. That said, according to the bank’s strategists, even a big win could have risks: “Although undoubtedly under the clean-sweep scenario there is the negative implications for risk assets to be considered, stemming from a Democratic legislative agenda including higher corporate taxes and increased capital-gains taxes”.
FINSUM: Goldman is making it abundantly clear that they think most paths for the market lead lower—likely until the end of the year. With Trump now having COVID, that makes uncertainty even higher.
The market is falling again the day after the Labor Day holiday, and many tech stocks are nearing or in correction territory. It is a rough start to the week, and Goldman Sachs is not offering much hope. The firm published a research piece this weekend which was bullish on stocks overall, but said that another 10% correction may arrive soon. Goldman says that if investors start to doubt the trajectory of the recovery in the face of the super quick snapback in economic output that the market has priced, then stock prices will likely fall.
FINSUM: On the whole Goldman was pretty positive, but they also clearly allowed room for a short-term “shake out” in share prices. This correction we have on our hands might also lead to a change of market leadership, which would be an interesting shift.