Oppenheimer’s Stoltzfus Sees S&P 500 at Record Next Year

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may climb to a record 1,585 next year as economic growth improves amid stimulus efforts by global central banks, said John Stoltzfus, Oppenheimer & Co.’s chief investment strategist.

The strategist’s forecast implies a 10 percent rally in the S&P 500 from the Sept. 28 close of 1,440.67. The advance would take the index above its all-time high of 1,565.15 reached on Oct. 9, 2007. The gauge trades at 14.8 times reported earnings, up from a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.9 on June 1.

“We expect the process of fostering an economic recovery from the grips of a global financial crisis will persist and ultimately prove successful,” Stoltzfus wrote in a report today. “Multiple expansion across sectors will lead to increased price levels even as corporate earnings growth may rise at a slower pace.”

Wall Street strategists so far are unanimous in predicting the S&P 500 will reach a record next year, according to the four firms that have made predictions out of 14 tracked by Bloomberg. Stoltzfus’ estimate is higher than the 1,575 level called for by Bank of Montreal’s Brian Belski while lower than predictions of 1,600 by Bank of America Corp.’s Savita Subramanian and 1,615 by Tobias Levkovich at Citigroup Inc.

S&P 500 companies will earn $108 a share in 2013, Stoltzfus said. That compares with the average analyst earnings estimate of $115.38 a share, down more than 2 percent in the past four months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The S&P 500 rallied 2.4 percent last month, touching the highest level since 2007 and bringing its 2012 advance to 15 percent, as central banks in the U.S., Europe and Japan took action to spur growth. The American equity benchmark needs to increase 8.6 percent from last week’s close to reach its all-time high.

The S&P 500 may drop 2 percent to end this year at 1,412, according to the average forecast of 14 Wall Street strategists surveyed by Bloomberg. Oppenheimer has a 1,450 target on the stock index for 2012.

Stoltzfus, formerly at Ticonderoga Securities LLC, replaced Brian Belski as New York-based Oppenheimer’s chief strategist in May this year.

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