September Might Not Be So Bad for Stocks: Cohen
Special to CNBC.com
September may not be as bad as it has been traditionally because August has already been so volatile, Abby Joseph Cohen told CNBC Wednesday.
Cohen, senior investment strategist at Goldman Sachs and a longtime market bull, told CNBC "geopolitical factors," including the turmoil in Europe over sovereign debt and in the U.S. over the debt ceiling, contributed to a volatile August that led economists and industry analysts to revise their growth and earnings estimates a month earlier than usual.
"As we know, most economists did dramatically reduce their growth expectation not just for 2011 but also for 2012, and they did it in the month of August," Cohen said.
But not all the economic news has been bad, Cohen said.
She noted improvement in private-sector hiring, strong durable goods orders and strong corporate balance sheets. She also reiterated her forecast for the Standard & Poor's 500 reaching 1450. The S&P closed Wednesday around 1219.
Another possible indicator of better days: The head of the European Central Bank has indicated the ECB is "perhaps is not as concerned as they were about inflation, which means they may be friendlier in terms of interest rate policy," Cohen said, which will allays some U.S. concerns.
"The U.S. economy is very much linked to Europe," she said. "Outside of our close-by neighbors in North America, most U.S. exports go to continental Europe. So if continental Europe is weak, they will not be demanding the same level of exports."
She noted that "over the last decade, the single strongest sector of the [U.S.] economy was not the consumer but it was exports, which grew on an annualized basis of 8 percent to 10 percent."