Whether it's economic reports or corporate earnings, the news flow can’t get any better for U.S. stocks which continue to hover near record levels.
However, investors who expect stocks to continue climbing may be disappointed, according to Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group. “We have certainly seen the lion’s share of what we are going to see this year no question about it. I am still constructive through the end of the year but I don’t think we move much higher.” Kenny says U.S. stocks could rise another 2% to 3%, but not much more because the string of consistently good corporate and economic reports are winding down as we approach year end.
Not all investors are reaping the benefits of this year’s rally. Nearly 76% of funds that spread purchases among the largest value and growth companies have gained less than their benchmark measure as of November 6 reports Chicago-based Morningstar.
As these fund managers try to play catch up there is a theory that a round of fresh money could give the market another leg up. That, however, may have already happened. Kenny speculates, “that sell-off we saw four weeks ago, that was the entry point.” He notes the spike in volume and volatility around that time and that “people were playing catch-up and knew that was the one shot they had.”
The S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) have advanced over 11% this year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) is up 8%. While not as robust as 2013, investors should still feel good about locking in gains at these levels.