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Bob Doll’s 10 Predictions for 2020

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(Related: Bob Doll’s 10 Predictions for 2019)

Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen, says he has “an easier time predicting better economic growth than better market conditions” in 2020, according to his annual Ten Predictions report, released Tuesday.

“2020 is shaping up to be an odd year for making predictions,” wrote Doll, who offers his top predictions at the start of each year as well as a midyear update.

In most years, “especially since the financial crisis, the economic outlook appeared cloudy as investors worried about recession,” he noted. However, in prior years, it was “still possible to make a strongly positive case for stocks” — something that, he wrote, “doesn’t seem to be the case this year.”

After a “choppy, but not frustrating” 2019 in which the recession that many feared never materialized and stocks experienced “one of their best years in history,” he wrote: “The biggest question heading into 2020 is whether the good news is already baked into stock prices. I fear much of it may be.”

In light of events in the past few days, there is now a new cause of potential investor concern: “What’s going to happen with the U.S.-Iran relationship?” Doll asked in a webcast just before his latest predictions were released. “Will it deteriorate further? [Or] will there be a sense of calm?”

Meanwhile, although many investors continue to be concerned about a recession, he said in the webcast: “The probably of a recession anytime soon, in my view, is close to zero. There are just no signs of it.”

Doll’s top 10 predictions for 2019 proved to be about 80% correct. His biggest miss: non-U.S. stocks outperforming U.S. stocks as the dollar sags. “This turned out the be the sole prediction we are getting wrong,” he conceded, adding: “Non-U.S. growth has been slower than we expected, and the U.S. dollar has risen. For the year as a whole, the S&P 500 Index (up 31.5%) was well ahead of the MSCI World Index ex-U.S. (up 23.2%).”

Check out the gallery above to see Doll’s 10 predictions for 2020.

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