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How the S&P 500 could roar to 3,000 by year-end

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The S&P 500 (^GSPC) has been flirting with corrective territory in recent weeks, but still has a path to fresh highs by the end of 2018.

That’s the assessment from market strategists who spoke to Yahoo Finance.

John Eade, CEO of Argus Research, has maintained a 3,000 year-end target on the S&P 500 for months. Even with the recent spat of volatility, Eade thinks the broad index could stage a rebound.

A move to 3,000 on the S&P 500 represents roughly 10.6% upside from its current level of 2,712.

S&P 500 year to date, Oct. 24, 2018
S&P 500 year to date, Oct. 24, 2018

“We think the market is currently oversold on fears of trade, the euro, rising rates and uncertainty over midterm elections,” said Eade. “How oversold? The VIX (^VIX) has more than doubled in the past month. This has happened multiple times during the bull market — each time, it has been a buying signal.”

Eade is comfortable buying amid strong underlying market fundamentals, including double-digit earnings growth and historically low interest rates, even though they are higher year-over-year.

After all, the S&P 500 came within 80 points of Eade’s target on September 20, closing at 2,930.75. “We’re not giving up yet,” he said.

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, also maintains a 3,000 target on the S&P 500, though acknowledges that downside risks have increased.

Looming forces

He thinks the recent rise in interest rates, notably the 10-year Treasury yield, which is used to determine the interest rates consumers pay, has sparked a revaluation of stock prices. Higher interest rates make stocks less attractive.

That said, two looming forces may kick in to help push stocks higher, according to McMillan.

First, corporate buybacks should resume as earnings season moves forward. Companies tend to suspend share buybacks in the weeks before an earnings announcement. That could keep a floor on stocks.

Plus, fading uncertainty once the midterm elections are over could propel stocks higher.

McMillan points to two probable outcomes from the midterms: a continuation of Republican control in Congress or a divided government.

Both outcomes will likely be perceived as positive for the stock market.

There are a lot of negative factors that are likely to be resolved and a lot of positive factors that are likely to kick in,” McMillan said.

He thinks the technology sector, which comprises 21% of the S&P 500, has the ability to rebound and lead the broader stock market’s charge to 3,000.

“We’ll need to see strong tech earnings, including those from Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, referring to the importance of big tech names as a driver of overall market sentiment.

Scott Gamm is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ScottGamm.

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