As GDP Forecast Bob And Weave, The Overall Vector Has Moved Lower With Diminished Velocity

As we get closer to year-end and into 2018, we expect to see a number of price target and earnings forecasts for the major stock market indices, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. From time to time, these can be all over the board as they are often subject to the forecasters own bullish or bearish tendencies. With that in mind, and to offer a somewhat sobering perspective on those forecasts, we’re sharing the following findings from Factset:

“Over the previous 15 years (2002-2016), the average difference between the bottom-up target price estimate at the beginning of the year (December 31) and the final price for the index for that same year has been 13.0%. In other words, industry analysts on average have overestimated the final price of the index by about 13.0% one year in advance during the previous 15 years.”

We’ll be keeping that in mind as we consider that Industry analysts in aggregate predict the S&P 500 will see a 7.7% increase in price over the next 12 months. If you thought you heard a bit of a smirk as I wrote this, well, you would be correct.

Turning our focus to the short-term, it is the week before the Christmas holiday, which has the market closed next Monday. Even so, we have all of 9 trading days left until we close the current quarter, which means that before the holiday and despite all the last minute holiday shopping to be done, we still have several companies reporting earnings and a number of economic data points that will factor into determining GDP for the current quarter.Unlike the last few weeks, there are no major investor conferences to be had, and odds are they will remain scant until after 4Q 2017 earnings season.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what’s on tap this week.

On the Economic Front

If you remember, last week’s Monday Morning Kickoff was titled, “Big Week Ahead Could Either Firm Up, Or Tear Down GDP Forecasts.” As we glance in the rear view mirror that was last week we saw there was indeed some movement in the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow 4Q 2017 forecast.

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