Stocks are looking good for growth in 2015, although business gurus disagree on how much stock numbers will rise. Predictions range from slow growth to double digits, according to experts.
However, expectations for 2015 are a welcomed relief to those over the past seven years. Practically every year since the market crash of 2008, market forecasters had gloom and doom prognostications and stated a big crash was coming. It never came, although the market remained risky for much of that time.
The most recent figures from Wall Street show a composite gain higher than in previous weeks while the industrial average was slightly lower. Gold and crude oil prices are up and there is a .2 percent seasonal adjustment increase in basic items such as shelter, energy and food. That is a normal occurrence as spring rolls in, experts said.
Looking back at 2008, the sudden stock drop was substantial. It went from 1,560 in the fall of 2007 to plummet to 760 one year later. The crash hurt many Americans saving for retirement with some older citizens losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, which forced them to continue working well past retirement age.
Predictions from both 2011 and 2013, indicate the stock market was supposed to behave like it did in 2008, only much worse. A period of slow growth in 2009 and 2010 created a vulnerable economy and economic problems in Greece, Italy and Asia also made things worrisome.
The predictions this year show stocks will look to good growth. A forecast from Goldman Sachs puts the S&P at 2,100. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts the golden number will be 2,200 and figures from Oppenheimer are optimistic with the S&P to hit 2,311 this year.
Financial experts are putting companies who get involved in societal changes as some of the best stocks to buy this year. That includes Starbucks, Whole Foods, Disney, General Electric and Microsoft. Starbucks and Whole Foods are striving to lesson their environmental impact and Disney supports youth programs. GE is leading in green energy and Microsoft is donating more than $100 million to charities. Leading societal change sets the pace for long-term growth, according to business experts.
As far as pure stock growth, Apple landed in the top 10 gains in February, according to stock numbers. The computer company is already seeing a 15 percent increase in stock price so far this year. Exxon was second, but was distantly behind Apple. The top three stocks right now are Novavax Inc., Lannett Co., Inc, and Goldcorp Inc.
The United States is not the only one with good news. Japan also saw stock price increases with a rise to the highest they have been in 15 years. Chinese stocks are also seeing some growth and have been rising ever since the beginning of 2015. Both Japan and China suffered economic drops, along with the United States, just a few years ago
While most in the financial industry are cautiously optimistic, this year is looking good for growth. No one is predicting a dramatic drop in stocks as they did in previous years. Stock growth will continue as long as there are no surprises or major catastrophes, according to experts.
By Melody Dareing
Photo by Scott Beale/LaughingSquid – Flickr license