Traders on the floor of the NYSE, June 29, 2023.
The majority of Wall Street investors believe stocks have entered a new bull market and the U.S. economy will skirt a recession in 2023, according to the new CNBC Delivering Alpha investor survey.
We polled about 400 chief investment officers, equity strategists, portfolio managers and CNBC contributors who manage money about where they stood on the markets for the third quarter and forward. The survey was conducted over the last week.
Sixty-one percent of respondents believe the market has entered a new bull run, while 39% think this is a bear market rally.
Technically speaking, some have already declared a brand new bull market after the S&P 500 met the most simplistic standard by closing up 20% from its October bear-market low. However, many investors do not consider it the end of a bear market until the S&P 500 reaches a new high. The all-time closing high for the broader benchmark is 4,796.56. The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 4,396.44.
The market has managed to climb a wall of worries so far this year, including rate hikes, debt ceiling debate and a series of bank failures. The S&P 500 is about to end the first half with flying colors, up nearly 15% after four straight winning months in a row. The performance of the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is even more impressive — up 30% this year — amid Wall Street’s obsession with artificial intelligence.
“There are many reasons to be constructive on U.S. stocks in the second half of 2023, particularly because we have finally started to see more market breadth,” said Carol Schleif, chief investment officer at BMO Family Office.
The majority of the investors believe the economy will avoid a severe downturn at least for this year despite the Fed’s aggressive rate increases. The Fed hiked at each meeting since March 2022, a span that included four straight three-quarter point moves, before taking a break in June.
Many think the unique circumstances this time around — an unprecedented pandemic, which prompted historic fiscal and monetary responses — might result in a downturn unlike any other in the history.
“We should not expect a standard recession in this unorthodox cycle,” said Jason Draho, head of asset allocation Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management. “The economy may instead experience rolling recessions across different segments.”
In terms of where investors are putting money to work for the rest of 2023, they believe the best returns can be found in short term Treasurys, the S&P 500 as well as foreign stock markets like Japan, China and Europe.