Bloomberg reports the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is poised for its biggest fourth-quarter rally in a decade as the economy recovers and earnings exceed analysts' forecasts. So says Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Group LP.
The benchmark gauge for U.S. stocks will rise to 1,200 by the end of the year, a 13 percent advance from today's close of 1,062.96, Wien said in a telephone interview with the news service. The forecast is a reiteration of Wien's prediction at the start of 2009 that the S&P 500 would climb 33 percent this year.
"I'm not backing away from it," said Wien, 76, the former chief market strategist for hedge fund Pequot Capital Management. "In March, that didn't look too good and people wouldn't make eye contact with me. But now, with three months to go, that looks like it may be realized. The economy will be stronger and corporate earnings both in the third and fourth quarters will be better than expected."
As Bloomberg notes, the S&P 500 has rebounded 57 percent from a 12-year low on March 9 amid signs the recession is easing as companies posted earnings that beat analysts' estimates.