NEW YORK (AP) — It is an understatement to say stock market investors had a good year in 2013. The Standard & Poor's 500 index soared 29 percent, its best year since 1997. Including dividends, it gained 32 percent.
What lies ahead after this historic year? The AP asked leading market analysts and investment managers where they see the Standard & Poor's 500 index winding up by the end of 2014 and why. The index closed at 1,841 Friday, with two trading days left in the year.
Year-end target: 1,900.
Reasoning: Modest improvement in the economy and better company earnings. Enticed by higher returns, investors will move some cash from bonds back into stocks.
BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH
Year-end target: 2,000.
Reasoning: With the Federal Reserve likely to end its bond-buying program, bonds face a tough year. In stocks, the focus will be large multinational companies that can benefit from an improving global economy.