Credit Suisse thinks the stock market will keep riding the record-long bull through 2020, backed by better profits and more opportunities to continue share buybacks.
Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse, also thinks the economy will continue to grow stronger after a year of softer results, which will in turn drive the S&P 500 even higher. He believes the index will have another banner year in 2020 and close out at 3,425 points, which would be 9.8% higher than Friday’s record close of 3,120 points.
Golub estimates 2019’s earnings per share will be $164.50, boosted up to $173 in 2020.
“These estimates imply EPS growth of 5.2% next year, a substantial improvement from 2019′s 1.0% expected increase,” Golub’s note to clients said, according to CNBC. “We are upgrading more economically-sensitive groups including Financials, Industrials, Materials, and Energy. We are downgrading more defensive sectors including Staples, Utilities, REITs, and Communications.”
Credit Suisse is heavy into consumer discretionary, technology, financials, industrials and materials stocks, and Golub thinks as the economy gets better it will boost sectors that struggled in summer like financials and industrials. The bank is light on staples, REITs and utilities.
“Economic data has decelerated over the past 1+ years, resulting in the outperformance of Low Vol and Growth stocks, at the expense of Value,” Golub wrote in his note. “This leadership shifted more recently, on aggressive Fed action (3 cuts) and improving economics. Our work indicates that this rotation will continue through the early part of 2020.”
Here are the four keys to Credit Suisse’s outlook, per Golub’s note:
- Sales to appreciate in-line with nominal GDP
- Profit headwinds to diminish
- Buybacks to remain frequent
- Reversal of a slowing economy to allow for multiple expansion
Golub is known to be more bullish than many strategists. Of the five 2020 estimates that have been submitted to CNBC, Golub’s 3,425 is the highest, and has driven up the average to 3,235. The median of the five is 3,350.