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Strategists bullish, but look at their track record

Wall Street poised to continue back-and-forth action

Stocks enter the seventh year of the bull market Tuesday with a roaring 207 percent gain, and strategists see more room to run.

Six years ago Monday, the S&P 500 hit a closing low of 676, after a brush with the frightening 666 level in the previous session. The index, at its trough, was down 57 percent from its October 2007 high.

It has since made up the ground it lost and broken into record territory, but the question is now whether those gains can continue, particularly as the Fed inches toward its first rate hike in coming months.

Stock market strategists are targeting a roughly 7.5 percent gain in the S&P 500 this year—in forecasts reported as of the end of 2014. Bespoke provided the 2015 estimate and also annual targets going back to the start of the current bull run, and it seems that the strategists got their year-end calls wrong by an average margin of 8.2 percent during those years.

Their worst performance was in 2013, when they expected a 7.4 percent gain, but got an increase of 29.6 percent, according to Bespoke and CNBC data. Of course, the dozen strategists can amend their forecasts as the year advances, and this analysis does not give them credit for changing their mind.

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