Wall Street's Biggest Stock Bull Says Momentum Signals Pullback

  • S&P 500 relative-strength index above 70 for 15 days in a row
  • Earnings growth priced into current market: Morgan Stanley

Assessing the Current Level of Stock Market Volatility

The biggest bull on Wall Street is expecting a pause in the record-setting rally as equity prices already reflect earnings growth expectations.

Morgan Stanley strategist Michael Wilson says he is seeing companies that miss profit estimates being punished more than companies that beat projections are being rewarded. A measure of momentum is showing the equity rally is also overbought, he wrote in an analysis on Monday.

The 14-day relative-strength index on the S&P 500 Index has remained above 70 for 15 consecutive days, a run historically followed by a median decline of 4.5 percent over the subsequent 30 days, he said.

“Friday’s session in particular had the feel of a buying climax to us,” Wilson and his colleagues wrote in the report. “We point to a similar pattern on March 1st after President Trump made a well received first address to Congress. It marked a short term top and preceded a 3 percent drawdown in the S&P 500.”

Wilson still expects the S&P 500 to climb to 2,700 by the end of the year. His was the most bullish projection of 19 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg last week. The gauge closed at 2,575.21 on Friday and is up 15 percent in 2017.

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