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S&P 500 Defies Strategist Calls in 3-Day Slump: Chart of the Day

Wall Street strategists predicted the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will exceed the current record just in time for its first three-day decline of the year.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how strategists’ average year-end estimate in a Bloomberg survey compares with the S&P 500’s current value and the index’s closing high of 1,565.15, set on Oct. 9, 2007.

After rising to within 0.1 percent of the peak on March 14, the S&P 500 dropped 1 percent through yesterday. Strategists at Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley have raised year-end estimates in the past week.

“It is hard to see what causes a major market correction,” Adam Parker, chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a report two days ago. Parker, based in New York, called for the S&P 500 to finish the year at 1,600. He raised his forecast by 12 percent, the biggest percentage among the four firms.

Strategists’ average year-end figure is 1,571, six points higher than the closing record, according to the survey of 16 securities firms. The projection rose this week for the first time since Jan. 31.

The most optimistic view belongs to Sean Darby, Jefferies Group LLC’s chief global equity strategist, whose year-end call is at 1,673 after a 6.9 percent increase on March 12. Darby, based in Hong Kong, was added to the survey this week.

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