Last December, almost 12 months ago, we set our year-end 2019 target for the S&P 500 at 3,100. Many thought we were way too bullish, but our model for the stock market suggested 3,100 was well within reach. We believed the bull market had plenty of room to run.
Now, with six weeks to go until year-end, the stock market has already closed above our initial target. As of Friday, the S&P is up 24.5% year-to-date, and up 32.7% since its Christmas Eve low. And that's without including dividends.
We were so confident there wouldn't be a recession - and that the market was still cheap - that we raised our target to 3,250 in the middle of 2019. That's only 4.2% above last Friday's close.
With one possible (and very unlikely) exception, nothing we see on the horizon suggests the bull market is nearing an end. We're forecasting moderate economic growth for the foreseeable future, and see continued corporate profit growth as margins stay high.
Monetary policy is not tight, far from it, and we don't see any hikes to short-term interest rates through at least 2020. And after many years of 6% M2 money supply growth, M2 has accelerated, growing at a 9.2% annualized pace in the past six months.
Corporate America is still adapting to a much more favorable tax environment. And trade policy is more likely to get better going forward, rather than worse.