RBC Capital Markets chief equity strategist Jonathan Golub is doubling down on his bullishness, raising his 2017 year-end S&P 500 price target to 2,600, putting him in a tie for most optimistic analyst on Wall Street. The forecast would require a 6.9% increase from Friday’s closing price.
The firm remains constructive on stocks given a “recent pickup in global activity, stronger EPS, and reasonable valuations,” Golub wrote in a client note on Monday.
His 2017 call is a combination of two possible scenarios for US equities:
— Stronger global growth and a tight domestic labor market lead to accelerating output and, in turn, rising inflationary pressures and higher interest rates — GDP grows in line with its post-recessionary average and inflation stays in check, while the Fed is kept at bay, resultingin a more elongated business cycle
While it may seem surprising that Golub would raise his equity forecast in the wake of Friday’s 1.8% decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, it’s important to note that the broader S&P 500 was down less than 0.1%. Golub remains bullish on tech, especially if the “modest growth” scenario outlined above materializes.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is not so hopeful on the prospects of higher stock prices. The market has been lifted by a “perfect scenario” of “fairy tale” conditions that aren’t likely to persist, chief US equity strategist David Kostin wrote in a client note on Friday.