ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., January 3, 2008- America's top investment strategists and fund managers say set aside your economic worries and forget fears of a stock market slump in 2008, according to CNBC's exclusive Trillion Dollar Survey released today.
In the survey, fully 89% said they believe the S&P 500 will finish higher this year. One out of three respondents predict an 8% S&P gain; Roughly a quarter (23%) are counting on gains of 10% or more. Only 8% figure the S&P will end the year with a loss.
Which market sectors will have the best performance in 2008? Of those surveyed, 28% said financials, 27% say tech and 17% predict healthcare. When asked which sectors will have the worst performance in 2008, 25% of those surveyed said consumer discretionary, 23% said materials and 17% said utilities.
The nationwide survey of 60 strategists, money managers and investment advisors asked their opinions on topics including stocks, the U.S. dollar, the economy and the presidential election. The results were reported today on "Street Signs" (2 PM-3 PM ET) by CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on CNBC, First in Business Worldwide.
As to which of eight selected global stock markets will perform best in 2008, 30% of those surveyed say they are most bullish about the U.S. stock market in 2008, while 21% say they are most bullish about China's stock market. Also, according to the survey, 33% say they are least bullish about China's stock market in 2008 and 17% say they are least bullish about Japan's stock market.
With all the recent discussion about the probability of a recession in 2008, an overwhelming 98% of CNBC's survey respondents put the odds of one at 50-50 or lower. About three out of five (58%) place the probability at 50%, while a third say there is a 25% chance of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months. Not a single person surveyed said the recession probability is 100%.
Also, 54% believe the U.S. dollar will be slightly stronger in six months. When asked about the credit crunch, 46% believe it will be much better at the end of 2008, while 49% believe it will be a little better. With regard to the housing market, 58% say it will be a little better at the end of 2008 while 21% say it will be a little worse.
With the 2008 presidential race heating up, 81% of those surveyed believe that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Presidential nomination and 13% believe Barrack Obama will win the nomination. Yet, 31% say they want Barrack Obama to win the Democratic Presidential nomination and 24% say they want Senator Clinton to win the nomination. With regard to the Republican Presidential nomination, 50% believe Mitt Romney will win the nomination and 19% believe John McCain and Rudy Giuliani will win the nomination. Of those surveyed, 35% want John McCain to win the Republican Presidential nomination and 31% want Mitt Romney to win. Although 79% believe the Democrats will capture the White House in 2008, 58% want the Republicans to win.
For more details regarding CNBC's exclusive Trillion Dollar Survey, log onto CNBC.com.
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