Five weeks above 2,000 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may be long enough, says Deutsche Bank AG’s David Bianco.
After last week’s U.S. employment report, investors are increasingly convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by mid-year, Bianco said. That could result in a decline of up to 9 percent in the benchmark gauge, according to Bianco. The dollar’s strongest level versus the euro since 2003 threatens U.S. profit growth, he said.
“Strong job growth and falling unemployment, despite still-slow GDP, suggest that Fed hikes are on the horizon and likely strengthen the dollar further,” Bianco, chief U.S. equity strategist at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to clients. “We see risk of a near-term 5 to 9 percent dip.”
U.S. stocks wiped out gains for the year today, pushing the S&P 500 down 1.4 percent to 2,050.42 at 12:04 p.m. in New York. The dollar also applied pressure as it rallied against all of its major peers today, surging to an almost 12-year high versus the euro and the highest in 7 1/2 years against the yen.
The S&P 500 tumbled the most in two months on Friday amid a report employers added more jobs than forecast in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, the lowest in almost seven years, showing the labor market is sustaining progress after the best annual performance in 15 years.
The 295,000 advance in payrolls last month followed a 239,000 January increase that was smaller than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 235,000 increase.
Bianco maintained his year-end price target of 2,150, leaving him with the third-lowest forecast out of 21 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg. The average estimate of 2,237 calls for a 9 percent increase from current levels.
Energy and industrial stocks are the most likely to have margins pressured by current market conditions, Bianco said. He also sees companies that deal in energy, capital goods, metals and mining, chemicals and utilities as the most vulnerable to cheap oil.
Since the start of February, utility and energy companies are the only two groups to decline, slipping 10 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.