S&P 500 to Lose 3.3% by End of March, Says Birinyi Associates

Firm was first to tell clients to buy in March 2009

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will fall to 1,232 by March 31, marking the bottom of a “modest correction,” according to Birinyi Associates Inc., which cited data measuring average drops of at least 5% since 1945.

Bloomberg reports the decrease would represent a 3.3% retreat from Thursday’s close of 1,273.72. When the S&P 500 loses 5% during a rallying period, the decline lasts an average of 41 days and extends to 8.3% according to a report today by Cleve Rueckert, an analyst at Birinyi Associates. The S&P 500 peaked this year at 1,343.01 on Feb. 18, its highest level since June 2008. It has since fallen 5.2%, paring gains since March 9, 2009, to 88%, according to the news service.

History suggests that the current decline will be short- lived, and most likely presents a buying opportunity,” the Westport, Connecticut-based research and money-management firm said in a report Thursday.

Bloomberg reports Thomas Lee, equity strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Mary Ann Bartels of Bank of America Corp. also said this week that U.S. equities are poised to climb. Birinyi was one of the first to tell clients to buy as the S&P 500 fell to its 12-year low in March 2009 and has held a bullish outlook since then, saying stocks are in the midst of a “multi-year” rally and may climb as high as 2,854 by 2013, based on past bull cycles.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.