Wells Fargo strategist Christopher Harvey sharply reduced his expectations for the stock market in 2019, making him easily the least optimistic forecaster on Wall Street.
Even with the sharp cut, though, pretty much every major house on the Street sees the market higher in the year ahead, despite the brutal correction and potential bear market that looms over investors as 2018 comes to a tumultuous close.
Before the new year even begins, Harvey cut his price target for the S&P 500 from an original outlook of 3,079 to a much more muted 2,665. That’s a 13.4 percent reduction that the bank’s head of equity strategy attributed largely to fears of an over-aggressive Federal Reserve, which hiked its benchmark interest rate four times this year, most recently on Dec. 19.
The move “is due to our more comprehensive understanding of the Fed’s near-term philosophy and the belief that it will cause the growth deceleration to intensify,” Harvey said in a note to clients.
Still, the new target represents a virtually exact 13.4 percent upside from Monday’s close.
Harvey’s peers all agree that stocks are heading higher, from Morgan Stanley’s 2,750 price target all the way up to Deutsche Bank’s robust 3,250 for the large-cap index.
Here’s a look at where Wall Street’s major forecasters stand heading into the final trading days of 2018.