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S&P 500 Advances Above Average Wall Street Strategist Forecast

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied above the average strategist forecast for its closing level on Dec. 31, the third straight year that stocks ran ahead of projections.

The benchmark measure of U.S. equities rose as much as 3.6 percent to 1,286.34 today, topping the 1,285 average estimate of 12 Wall Street strategists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The index closed above the year-end forecast on Nov. 4 in 2010 and on June 2 in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The European debt crisis and concern that global economic growth will slow drove the index down to 1,119.46 on Aug. 8, or 19 percent below the strategist projection at the time of 1,389.

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