Here's what Wall Street is predicting for the stock market in 2016

The stock market forecasts for 2016 are rolling in.

Wall Street steadily lowered its expectations for the stock market as 2015 unfolded.

On Friday, the S&P 500 traded near 2,090, and the median year-end target on the index was 2,150 according to Bloomberg data. Last December, it was 2,213.

Based on the forecasts we’ve received so far, even the most bullish strategists expect that 2016 will be a modest year for the market.

Uncertainty about how markets respond to the first interest rate hike in nine years, commodity price weakness, and slow global growth are some of the things strategists have identified as potential headwinds for stocks and earnings.

We’ve rounded up the calls from the top firms on Wall Street that we have so far.

We also included their original 2015 price targets, so you can see where the strategists stood a year ago compared to where the market is now. Many of these were revised as the year unfolded.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs

2016 year-end target: 2,100

2016 EPS forecast: $120

2015 year-end target: 2,100

Comment: 'We forecast the S&P 500 index will tread water for a second consecutive year in 2016,' wrote David Kostin. 'Our year-end 2016 target of 2100 represents a 1% price gain from the current index level (2089), which itself is just 1% above the year-end 2014 level of 2059.'

Source: Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch


2016 year-end target: 2,200

2016 EPS forecast: $120

2015 year-end target: 2,200

Comment: 'We expect modest gains for US large cap stocks in 2016: the likelihood of a recession in the next 12 months is low in our view, but valuations have normalized from previously low levels and narrowing returns are to be expected,' wrote Savita Subramanian.

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch



2016 year-end target: 2,275

2016 EPS forecast: $126

2015 year-end target: 2,225

Comment: 'Barring an unforeseen external shock or a recession, if earnings continue to improve, 2016 should be a positive year for US equities,' Julian Emanuel wrote. 'Regardless, we continue to expect further volatility -- which in essence means higher risk, both upside and downside.'

Source: UBS

Credit Suisse

2016 mid-year target: 2,200

2016 forecast: 6.8% growth

2015 year-end target: 2,225

Comment: 'We think that we are at the later stages of the equity bull market and see increasing headwinds for equities related to valuations, an uncertain macro environment, bottom-up disruptions, weak earnings momentum, and falling market breadth,' Andrew Garthwaite wrote.

Source: Credit Suisse



2016 year-end target: 2,200

2016 EPS forecast: 4% growth

2015 year-end target: 2,100

Comment: 'Our macro narrative is simple, if obvious,' Jonathan Glionna said. 'We believe U.S. interest rates will go up leading to a stronger U.S. dollar. This should cause earnings per share growth and returns to remain subdued. We forecast 4% EPS growth and a 5% gain for the S&P 500.'

Source: Barclays

RBC Capital Markets


2016 year-end target: 2,300

2016 EPS forecast: $128

2015 year-end target: 2,325

Comment: '2015 was marked by falling oil prices, a diminishing global growth outlook, and flat rates,' Jonathan Golub wrote. 'Our constructive 2016 outlook is predicated upon stabilizing commodity prices, and an incrementally higher dollar and rates. All of this should result in a substantially higher earnings trajectory as well as a modest re-rating of stocks.'

Source: RBC Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets

2016 year-end target: 2,100

2016 EPS forecast: $130

2015 year-end target: 2,250

Comment: 'We believe the S&P 500 will likely suffer its first calendar year loss since 2008,' wrote Brian Belski. 'However, we continue to believe the longer-term outlook for US stocks remains bright, and we remain confident with our call that US stocks are in the midst of a secular bull market.'

Source: BMO Capital Markets

Deutsche Bank

2016 year-end target: 2,250-2,300

2016 EPS forecast: $125

2015 year-end target: 2,150

Comment: 'We reduce 2016E S&P EPS from $128 to $125,' wrote David Bianco. 'We're unsure of the tone of language appropriate to describe this reduction. Slashing or even cutting is too harsh as our new estimate is merely 2.5% lower. This trimming shouldn't surprise investors given recent commodity and currency markets.'

Source: Deutsche Bank

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