The powerful 2017 stock market rally will continue through next year even if it slows down just a little, according to a forecast from one of Wall Street's most optimistic strategists.
Looking ahead, the firm sees more of the same.
"We see a favorable backdrop for U.S. equities as market fundamentals suggest the path of least resistance remains higher," strategists Craig Johnson and Adam Turnquist said in a year-ahead preview released Wednesday. "We believe the growth story will continue to drive price action and cut through the day-to-day noise."
Just as the firm has been at the forefront of optimism since the bull market began in 2009, it is taking the lead for the year ahead, with a 2,850 price target for 2018. That represents about a 10 percent gain from Tuesday's closing price.
"As we look ahead to next year, we believe it will continue to be a fundamental storyline with several upside catalysts for stocks on the horizon," the analysts wrote.
In addition to fundamental factors like strong global growth, low interest rates and a mostly friendly political climate, technical factors are at play. For instance, they cite strong market breadth when looking at advancing vs. declining stocks, the solid performance of transportation stocks against the Dow industrials and longer-term indicators of new highs and techniques pointing to more upside.