S&P 500 could see a breakout run to almost 4,000 in 2020, BTIG's Julian Emanuel predicts
BTIG's Julian Emanuel believes 2020 will be a milestone year.
With the major indexes kicking off Christmas week at fresh all-time highs, he's not ruling out a 22% surge in the S&P 500.
The reason: Most investors don't trust the record rally.
"We think confidence will ultimately translate into the public getting this enthusiasm for stocks which could cause prices to move as high as 3,950," the firm's chief equity and derivatives strategist told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday.
Emanuel's call comes as Wall Street remembers the one year anniversary of the Christmas Eve market meltdown.
The S&P 500's 2.7% plunge briefly put it in a bear market territory — more than 20% from its record high.
Since then, the index has soared 37%.
But Emanuel, one of the biggest bulls on Wall Street, contends investors still haven't fully embraced stocks. According to Emanuel, the hesitation has been going on for the entire length of the bull market.
He thinks the mindset may finally change in 2020.
"In any great bull market, whether you think of technology in 2000 or houses over the course of the last couple of decades, it always ends or at least gets closer to the end when the public gets enthusiastic," he said. "We think this is the year."
Once there's more progress on trade, global growth and the 2020 presidential election, he believes more investors will want to put money to work in stocks again.
"Where we sit, the primary brunt of the risks are political," Emanuel said.
If there are positive developments, Emanuel suggests he'll reevaluate his 2020 forecast.
Right now, his official S&P year-end target is 3,450, a 7% gain for current levels.