A long-overdue correction of 10% or more in the stock market is imminent, warned noted market strategist Byron Wien, vice chairman of the Private Wealth Solutions Group at The Blackstone Group LP, in a CNBC story. "An overbought market with optimistic investors is vulnerable," Wien said, adding that "a 10% correction could come at any time." The most likely "trigger" for a correction, in his opinion, would be a geopolitical event, such as heightening tensions with North Korea or Russia, or a crisis in the Middle East that creates a spike in the price of oil. Another possibility, he said, is that "the market just begins to fade." (For more, see also: Investors Face 'Pain' in Highest Stock, Bond Values Since 1900.)
'Not Euphoric Yet'
The good news, according to Wien in the December 7 CNBC story, is that while investors are optimistic and stocks are overbought, "they are not euphoric yet." Additionally, he believes that "fundamentals are very strong," implying that stocks may have additional upside potential even after a correction. At the time of Wien's CNBC interview after the close of the market on December 6, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) had closed the day at 2,629.27, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) at 24,140.91. Since then, both market barometers have advanced. As of 11:00 AM New York time on December 11, the S&P was at 2,653.51 and the Dow at 24,331.07. A correction starting now would imply declines of over 265 and 2,400 points, respectively, in these indexes. (For more, see also: Big Investors Go Underweight in FAAMG Stocks: Goldman.)
Santa's Coming to Town
Meanwhile, some strategists argue that the "Santa Claus rally" will happen, as expected, at the end of 2017, and they say investors should be buying on the dips between now and then, per another CNBC report. This is the opinion of Stephen Suttmeier, the chief equity technical strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a division of Bank of America Corp. (BAC), in an interview with CNBC. He sees a support level for the S&P 500 at 2,600 and believes that it could end the year as high as 2,700. Suttmeier expects that technology stocks will continue to exert market leadership, but also sees financial, materials, and transportation stocks as worth buying, per CNBC. (For more, see also: Why December May Be a Joy for Stock Investors.)
Holiday Shopping List
Investors might consider asking for industrial commodities funds or stocks in their letters to Santa, according to Barron's. Global economic growth should spur demand for oil and industrial metals, most notably, zinc, copper, aluminum and palladium, in 2018, driving up their prices, in the opinion of market strategists and investment managers interviewed by Barron's. Regarding oil, OPEC has been successful in propping up prices by restricting output, Barron's notes. The price of benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil as of 11:00 AM Monday New York time was over $58 per barrel on the spot market and over $64 on the futures market, per BBC Market Data. The price could go as high as $80 in 2018, per Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group, in his remarks to Barron's.