Longtime bull Jeremy Siegel: Market may have a correction this year

  • Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel is sticking to his call for lower returns in the stock market this year.
  • He predicts the S&P 500 will return 0 to 10 percent in 2018.

Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel is sticking to his call for lower returns in the stock market this year – and believes a correction may even be in the cards.

In December, the longtime bull predicted the S&P 500 stock index would return 0 to 10 percent in 2018. Despite the fact that the S&P 500 is up about 6 percent so far this year, Siegel told CNBC he's not changing his forecast.

"It might run to 15 [percent], down to 5 [percent]," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch" on Thursday. "We haven't had a correction in a long time and when you have a lot of momentum players, that's what you eventually get at the end."

However, Siegel said that doesn't mean he's bearish. He just thinks the market won't be up as much as it was 2017, when the S&P saw gains of 19.4 percent — the best since 2013.

He particularly thinks that people will be interested in income-producing stocks since bonds are going to be falling in price.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose 31 basis points in January, it's largest monthly rise since November 2016. The benchmark note was at 2.784 percent at 3:25 p.m. ET on Thursday. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Siegel said even if the 10-year hits 3.25 percent, it's still historically low. However, the dividend yield on the S&P is falling, he said.

"We're going to end up with a 10-year twice the [S&P] dividend and we haven't been that way in a decade. I think it's going to get people saying I don't have to rush into stocks the way I did before," Siegel said.

"That's what's going to put the pause on the market because it's certainly not going to be earnings. Earnings are going to come out great this year."

— CNBC's Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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