CNBC - Goldman Sachs: If You Missed the January Rally, You Likely Missed the 2019 Gain

February 06, 2019

Article by Kate Rooney in CNBC financial

Markets started out the year with a significant bounce, but investors who missed out on it might not get a second chance, according to Goldman Sachs.

The firm is predicting lower returns after the best January in 30 years, and warned that those who missed it risk "missing the bulk of the returns for the year."

"The rally we expected has happened swiftly, and given this we see relatively modest returns on equities from here," Goldman analyst Sharon Bell said in a note to clients Tuesday.

Markets have rallied after their worst December since the Great Depression. The S&P 500 is up roughly 9 percent this year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 8.7 percent. Bell is forecasting overall slower growth and lower profits for the remainder of the year.

Earnings in recent weeks have been better than investors feared, but estimates are still falling for future quarters. Wall Street expectations for earnings growth for the first quarter of 2019 have now turned negative, which would mark the first decline in more than two years, according to FactSet.

Bell said there is still a slight disconnect between market returns and overall economic performance, but the "over-shot on the downside" that was evident at the beginning of the year isn't nearly as big.

"While we saw a bounce in equity markets in 2019, we also argued that this would be followed by the resumption of a 'flat & skinny' trading range, with relatively low equity returns," said the Goldman global investment research equity strategist and co-head of Europe Middle East Asia global investment research women's network.

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