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S&P 500 May Rise to 1,600 on Wider Breadth, BofA Says

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may climb to 1,600 this year as more stocks participate in the market rally, Bank of America Corp.’s Mary Ann Bartels said.

That would represent a 3.6 percent gain from the benchmark gauge’s closing level of 1,544.26 yesterday and surpass its record of 1,565.15 reached on Oct. 9, 2007. The index may drop as much as 10 to 15 percent after it rallied this year without a retreat of more than 3 percent, and investors should take advantage of any pullback to buy equities, Bartels said.

“There are so many sectors and stocks breaking out of the 10-year trading range, that I’ve never seen in my career,” Bartels, New York-based head of U.S. technical and market analysis at Bank of America, said in a Bloomberg Radio interview with Carol Massar. “This is a strong market.”

The bull market is entering its fifth year this month as the S&P 500 more than doubled from its bottom in 2009, fueled by better-than-expected corporate earnings and monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

Three of the 10 S&P 500 industries have climbed this month to levels not seen before as consumer and health-care companies surged. Other equity gauges making new highs include the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones Transportation Average, the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies, and the S&P Midcap 400 Index.

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