Credit Suisse has the first 'correction' call...for 2015

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Credit Suisse has entered Wall Street's correction derby, but in a way different from its peers.

In a somewhat peculiar good news-bad news scenario, the firm's bad news is that a correction—of sorts—is coming for the stock market. The good news is that it won't happen until 2015, and probably later in the year. It's the first correction call for next year.

A note the firm's strategy team sent out Wednesday morning outlines a scenario that overall is fairly bullish—the year-end forecast for 2014 is now 2,050 for the S&P 500, up slightly from 2,020, and the 2015 target is 2,100.

However, that 2015 level is expected to close off from a high of 2,200 that the market will hit in midyear.

"We see a high probability of a second-half correction as the Fed raises rates and U.S. profit margins peak against a backdrop of full employment," Credit Suisse's Andrew Garthwaite and others said in the note.

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It's worth noting that the math doesn't even add up to the standard Wall Street "correction" definition of a 10 percent decline. The "correction" call is for only a 5 percent decline from the top, but the forecast also only provides for a net market upside of 5 percent for all of 2015.

Credit Suisse believes that generally speaking equities remain cheap compared with other asset classes, global central bank liquidity is still strong and stocks historically will rise ahead of a Federal Reserve rate increase. However, the expectation that the U.S. central bank will begin raising rates around mid-2015—Credit Suisse expects that to happen sooner than consensus expectations—means stock investors could be in for a bumpy ride higher.

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"While the world focuses on Wall Street to set the tone of markets, we believe that this is a classic environment for the U.S. to underperform," the firm said.

—By CNBC's Jeff Cox