As the S&P 500 hovers just 1% below a new record high, one technical analyst expects the index to surpass 2,950 points by as early as late summer or early fall. (See also: How to Profit by Going Contrarian.)
As volatility cools off following a period of "higher highs" and "higher lows," J.P. Morgan technical analyst Jason Hunter expects the S&P 500 to reach January highs. "Reduced realized volatility add conviction to our medium-term bullish outlook," he wrote in a note to clients Tuesday, as reported by CNBC.
On Jan. 26, the S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,872.87. The nine-year bull market was then hit with a shock wave of volatility that has continued into the second half of the year, caused by a variety of factors including fears over a global trade war, rising interest rates and broad geopolitical uncertainty. Despite a growing bearish sentiment on the Street, with many analysts forecasting a forthcoming correction, the S&P 500 has returned 6.9% year-to-date (YTD).
Strong Earnings Overshadow Trade Fears
Hunter forecasts the index to reach the January "all-time high after defending tactical support just below 2,800" points.
"Sentiment readings we track have not yet achieved frothy levels that would cause concern for the health of the developing rally," he wrote. "Furthermore, the sentiment surveys we monitor do not show an overly optimistic outlook, which in theory suggests long positions have room to expand."
The Morgan analyst added that the S&P 500's 50-day moving average is rising, presenting another reason to stay bullish. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 closed just 0.5% away from its record, as stronger-than-expected earnings outweigh fears concerning global trade tensions.
"The earnings season has been good and that's helped investors realize there are strong fundamentals to justify the high prices," said Bruce McCain, Key Private Bank chief investment strategist, as cited by CNBC. Through Friday, S&P 500 earnings were up nearly 25% in the second quarter on a year-over-year (YOY) basis. (See also: 5 Overlooked Stocks to Buy Now: Putnam.)