Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday the S&P 500 bull market, the longest on record, is likely to end soon, forecasting a 28% slump from its February peak as the fast-spreading coronavirus is seen taking a toll on corporate profits. The bank expects the S&P 500 to hit 2,450 points, down 15% from current levels, by mid-year, followed by a bounce back in the fourth quarter to 3,200 points.
The bank also expects the benchmark index's .SPX earnings per share to decline 5% year-on-year, dragged by double digit drops during the second and third quarters. "Drivers of our reduced EPS estimate include lower crude oil prices and interest rates that diminish Energy and Financial company profits," Goldman Sachs wrote in a note to clients.
"Domestic business activity outside of those sectors is also likely to be weaker than we originally forecast, as underscored by reduced or withdrawn guidance from a number of firms in recent weeks," it added.
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