Energy, technology and health care stocks are expected to perform best over the next six months, according to Charles Schwab’s most recent semi-annual studyof more than 900 independent registered investment advisors.
Defensive names such consumer staples and utility companies are also among the preferred choices. Both of these sectors are currently up the most in the S&P 500 index so far this year, with gains of 5 and 8 percent, respectively.
The survey, which covers a six-month outlook for investments, client portfolios and the economy, reveals that only 37 percent of respondents feel bullish on the stock market, compared to 56 percent back in January. The majority (41 percent) are neither bullish nor bearish.
The study shows that 58 percent of advisors surveyed anticipate the S&P 500 to rise in the next six months, a 25 percent drop from January 2011 and the lowest level since January 2009.
Opinions over a potential “double-dip recession” remain divided. Since the beginning of the year, 52 percent of respondents believe a recession is unlikely to happen, compared to 28 percent who think it is likely to occur and 20 percent who chose neither.