According to Nuveen Asset Management’s Bob Doll, who released his 10 predictions for 2015 today, markets will see two major trends worth watching. First, U.S. mutual funds will start to see significant inflows again. Because everyone has been skeptical about this bull market many retail investors have stayed on the sidelines and missed out; in 2015, Doll believes that is likely to change.
Second, stock picking will become increasingly important in the new year. For his part, Doll likes technology, health care and telecom sectors. In his note he writes:
We favor one growth-oriented cyclical sector (technology), one defensive growth area (health care) and one traditional defensive sector (telecommunications). We have a less favorable view toward the bond-like utilities sector and two deep cyclical sectors that require pricing power to outperform (energy and materials).
Doll didn’t only focus on stock predictions – he also took a look at the oil market. He expects the current free fall to continue in the early part of the year. However, he eventually thinks that supply will become curtailed to a point where prices will go back up – and will end 2015 at a higher price.
In terms of big picture economic trends, Doll sees U.S. GDP growing 3% this year for the first time since 2005. On top of that, with unemployment below 6%, Doll sees wage growth beginning to pick up this year – which means inflation is something to be watched, though he doesn’t predict it will increase significantly.
With many expecting the Federal Reserve to raise rates in 2015, Doll expects short-term rates to rise more than long term rates. “Our logic is that while a zero fed funds rate and a 10-year Treasury yield of around 2% may have been consistent with 3% nominal growth, the U.S. has moved beyond that relatively slow growth environment (emphasis his).”
Globally, Doll thinks the U.S. may contribute more to global GDP growth than China this year, and possibly even more than emerging markets. In Europe, Doll says we could see a large-scale quantitative easing program, since it seems that Germanu – which has been the holdout – may finally allow it.
Lastly, Doll says that the Presidential nominations in the U.S. could prove interesting. While most people expect a bit of chaos in the Republican nomination since there are no clear frontrunners, Doll says Democrats may not have a smooth nomination process, even with all eyes on Hillary Clinton.
As far as why you should listen to Doll’s predictions – in 2014 Doll was correct in 6.5 of his 10 predictions.
Here is the full list of Doll's 2015 predictions:
1. U.S. GDP grows 3% for the first time since 2005.
2. Core inflation remains contained, but wage growth begins to increase.
3. The Federal Reserve raises interest rates, as short-term rates rise more than long-term rates.
4. The European Central Bank institutes a large-scale quantitative easing program.
5. The U.S. contributes more to global GDP growth than China for the first time since 2006.
6. U.S. equities enjoy another good yet volatile year, as corporate earnings and the U.S. dollar rise.
7. The technology, health care and telecom sectors outperform utilities, energy and materials.
8. Oil prices fall further before ending the year higher than where they began.
9. U.S. equity mutual funds show their first significant inflows since 2004.
10. The Republican and Democratic presidential nominations remain wide open.