Another year of modest growth, the peril of the "fiscal cliff" and a resurgence of debt problems in Europe may not sound like a recipe for a good stock market, but one Wall Street firm thinks a record-breaker is on the way.
Strategists and economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch laid out their vision of 2013 on Tuesday, and it includes much to tantalize investors.
Among the predictions: The Standard & Poor's 500 is on its way to 1,600, gold could hit $2,000 or even $2,400 an ounce, and the nascent housing recovery is about to gain speed. (Read More: Housing Affordability Begins to Slide)
Outside the U.S., China is expected to lead global growth and multinational companies will find favor after a year where American-focused companies were the best bet.
"We are pretty unapologetically bullish for 2013," Savita Subramanian, equity and quant strategist at BofA, told a crowded media gathering. "We think that a new high here for the market is not a very outlandish expectation."
The firm's predictions carry weight because it has been among the most accurate prognosticators on the Street, with a 1,450 S&P 500 target for 2012 well within reach in the market's final trading days of the year.
That prediction came even amid a corresponding expectation of weak growth—just 2.1 percent for the full year—that also turned out to be pretty accurate.
For 2013, BofA's pros said to expect more of the same.