There's a new biggest bull on Wall Street: Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus



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There’s a new leading bull on Wall Street.

John Stoltzfus of Oppenheimer Asset Management is now at the top end of stock market projections for 2020, giving an S&P 500 target of 3500 for the year. That would be nearly a 10% climb for the index, which closed at just under the 3200 level on Monday.

In a note published Tuesday, Stoltzfus said recent developments in trade negotiations between the United States and China, as well as progress on the USMCA, gives the stock market a platform to move higher in the coming year.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 27% in 2019, but Stoltzfus said this year was mainly a “do-over year” after the sell-off in December 2017 and that the market was primed to rise more next year.

“We see 2020 as a year that will be defined by a reassertion of global growth as the negative overhang affecting the global economy and markets is lifted as progress is made gradually in the ‘phases’ that we expect lie ahead,” Stoltzfus wrote.

Stoltzfus’ aggressive target comes in part from expanding the market’s price-to-earnings multiple. The projection includes a ratio of 20 times earnings, while the index currently trades at a ratio of about 18 times. Stoltzfus cites confidence in the Federal Reserve’s ability to navigate “uncertain waters” as a supporting reason for his valuation call.

Oppenheimer is not the only firm projecting a solid year for the market in 2020, but some Wall Street strategists are projecting a decline.

The Oppenheimer strategist’s projection is 50 points higher than the next highest projection from Julian Emanuel of BTIG. As a group, the strategists see the S&P 500 gaining just 4% to an average target of 3,330.

Stoltzfus did highlight a few risks to his projection, including a breakdown in trade negotiations or changes in monetary policy.


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