The stock market is poised for a short-lived rally through the end of the year, according to a top analyst at Wells Fargo. Senior equity analyst Christopher Harvey raised his year-end S & P 500 target to 4,825, representing an upside of 7.7%. That kind of move is to be expected after a strong first eight months of the year, Harvey said Tuesday in a note to clients. "Over the last 31 years, there have been nine instances where the S & P 500 had a price return of 10%+ in the first eight months of the year; over the next four months, the index averaged another +8.4%. None of these instances produced a negative return during those last four months," the note said. Harvey's projection is one of the most bullish on Wall Street and well above the target of 4,500 from Darrell Cronk of the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Harvey's previous year-end target for the broad index was 3,850, but he had not changed it since late 2020. However, Harvey's bullishness doesn't extend into next year. The analyst said the market's multiple — the amount that investors pay for earnings per share — should shrink as the rapid recovery from the pandemic bottom fades and investors look toward tougher sledding in the years ahead. "We compared 2022 to years 1994, 2004, 2011 and 2018. We utilized these years as they were approximately two years out from an earnings contraction and similar to what we expect for 2022. In every one of these four cases, the [S & P 500] multiple compressed," the note said. A potential change in stance from the Federal Reserve could also factor in to investors being less willing to pay up for earnings, Harvey said. "By the second half of 2022, we believe monetary policy will be much less accommodative than it is today and multiple compression should be expected," the note said. The S & P 500 has gained roughly 19% year to date and has doubled off its pandemic-era low . —CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
The stock market is poised for a short-lived rally through the end of the year, according to a top analyst at Wells Fargo.