Investing

Investors see 2023 gain as a bear market bounce and expect a recession next year, CNBC survey shows

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, September 26, 2023.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

A majority of Wall Street investors didn’t take solace in stocks’ 2023 gains, thinking the market could retreat further as risk for a recession creeps up, according to the new CNBC Delivering Alpha investor survey. 

We polled about 300 chief investment officers, equity strategists, portfolio managers and CNBC contributors who manage money about where they stood on the markets for the rest of 2023 and beyond. The survey was conducted this week.

More than 60% of respondents believe the stock market’s gain this year has just been a bear market bounce, seeing more trouble ahead. A total of 39% of investors believe we are already in a new bull market.

The S&P 500 has fallen more than 5% this month alone, cutting its 2023 gains to 11%. Stocks struggled as the Federal Reserve signaled higher interest rates for longer, sending bond yields higher. The market also contended with a rally in crude oil as well as a 10-week winning streak in the dollar. 

Asked about the probability for a recession, 41% of survey respondents said they expect one in the middle of 2024, and 23% said a downturn will arrive later than 12 months from now. Only 14% said they don’t expect a recession.

“I think the market is telling us we should expect another hike or two, and the consensus is building higher for longer,” Ares Management CEO Michael Arougheti said in an interview with CNBC’s Leslie Picker.

The Fed kept interest rates unchanged this month but forecast it will hike one more time this year. DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said odds for more rate hikes are higher now in light of the recent jump in oil prices, which could put upward pressure on inflation. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also warned that interest rates could go up quite a bit further.

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