Market Beat: 2013 market outlook

Ken RobertsSpecial to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Forecasting the stock market is tough because there is no way to account for all of the variables, and it is impossible to predict events that could impact the market and could happen at any time.One way to forecast is to study the outlooks from the major firms and analysts and calculate some averages. For example, Goldman Sachs is bullish for this year and looking for a return of about 12 percent for the S&P 500.Other leading managers are not quite so exuberant. Wells Fargo is predicting a return in the range of 5 percent to 8 percent. Morgan Stanley is forecasting a low single digit return of maybe around 4 percent.If you analyze all of the forecasters and take an average, the expectation should be in the high single digits and we could get surprised to the upside if the economy makes a strong recovery.Emerging markets should continue to perform well. The economic growth forecast for the emerging markets this is 5.6 percent which is much higher than the 1.5 percent forecast for the developed markets.The BRICS should continue to be a good investment. BRIC is a term coined by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs that stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. There are some analysts who really like new emerging markets such as Singapore, Chile and the Philippines.Interest rates should stay low. Ben Bernanke has said that rates will stay low through early 2015. Bill Gross, the founder of Pimco, the world’s largest bond manager, is suggesting that investors should avoid long term bonds and stay with shorter maturities to be prepared for rising interest rates in the future.HSBC bank has lowered their forecast for gold for 2013 to $1,760 an ounce, which would be a modest gain from the current level. Gold has had positive returns for the last twelve years now.Oil could be headed for a volatile year. Most forecasters are looking for oil to rise once again. At Barclays, the analysts are predicting that oil will hit $135 per barrel; over at Credit Suisse they’re looking for $115. At JP Morgan, they’re advising clients to be prepared for rising price volatility due to possible geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.Domestic shale production will continue to play an ever increasing role. The US is slated to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer within the next 10 years.Kenneth Roberts is a Truckee based Registered Investment Advisor. Information on his money management service can be found at his blog at or by calling 775-657-8065. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial adviser before purchasing any security.

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