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Behind the Numbers with Sam Stovall

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During a Webinar in late April, Sam Stovall, S&P’s chief economic strategist, discussed the equity market outlook. Stovall believes that from economic, fundamental, technical, and historical perspectives, the S&P 500′s decline of 18.6% was most likely the low. “The worst is likely over,” Stovall said before he went on to list reasons for the turnaround: interest rate reductions, the tax stimulus package, aggressive prior writedowns, export growth, and share buybacks. According to Stovall, full-year 2008 projected GDP growth is set at 1.1%, and the year-end 2008 S&P 500 target is 1560. Stovall also revealed S&P’s sector recommendations–overweight consumer staples and materials and underweight healthcare and utilities.–Kara P. Stapleton