Long-term Investing

Forget earnings, S&P 500 is going to 1,950: Nomura's Janjuah

S&P 500 will push back up to 1950: Pro
S&P 500 will push back up to 1950: Pro

The global benchmark for equities - the - is likely to see a surge of over 5 percent in the next month despite anxieties over corporate earnings, according to Nomura strategist Bob Janjuah.

But a sharp drop is still looming, the notable bear warned, adding that global growth is only achievable if the U.S. consumer once again gets hooked on personal debt.

"For me 1,950 is what I'm looking for on the S&P, so risk-on I guess for another month or so," he told CNBC Wednesday.

"I think there's some small upside in the data but I think the other thing is positioning and sentiment got a little bit wiped out earlier this year. And that means I think there's space for markets to get overboard again."

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His prediction comes despite stocks seeing a cautious couple of days with concerns over valuations and an earnings season that is likely to disappoint. Earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to grow by just 1.1 percent this quarter, and revenues are expected to rise 2.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Despite this pessimism, Janjuah believes that stock markets haven't been driven by earnings for some time and instead it's central bank policymakers who have pushed prices higher with accommodative tools like bond-buying and ultra-low interest rates.

"If you look at the S&P, if you decompose the gains last year, the vast bulk of the gains did not come from earnings or revenue increases, they came from stock buybacks," he said. Buybacks happen when firms buy their own shares trading on the stock exchange, reducing the portion of shares in the hands of investors. They offer a way to return cash to shareholders - along with dividends - and usually coincide with a company's stock pushing higher as shares get scarcer.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 1, 2014.
Getty Images

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Janjuah, no stranger to gloomy predictions, has made several large calls in recent years. In November, he said that the end of 2013 till the end of the first quarter of 2014 would be a buying window followed by a 25 percent to 50 percent sell-off over the last three quarters of 2014. He also predicted an interim sell-off in November -- which never materialized.

In a research note published in late March, he forecast a large dip for the S&P 500 -- which also never played out. However, the strategist predicted that the market would then soar higher during the rest of the year. In August 2012, he said that the S&P 500 would likely fall by 20-25 percent over the following three months ahead of the U.S. elections – again that failed to prove accurate.

The strategist still sees the underlying macroeconomic picture for the globe being whether the U.S. consumer is ready to increase spending and borrowing. In February there was a surge in household debt not seen since the recession began, according to new figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and student loans together rose $241 billion, or 2.1 percent, to a total of $11.52 trillion between October and December. It was the biggest quarterly rise since 2007 but total indebtedness remains 9.1 percent below the peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008, the survey showed.

With Europe, China and Japan all hoping to move into a trade surplus in the future, Janjuah believes people are hoping that the U.S. consumer can pick up the slack.

"There's one buyer in town I think," he said.

"We're back to the same gig actually globally...we're all desperately needing the U.S consumer to get silly with debt again."