BlackRock raises S&P 500 target, but says rally over

NEW YORK Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:09pm EDT

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), one of the world's largest asset managers, has raised its expectations for the U.S. stock market in 2012 but believes this year's equity rally has run its course, according to targets provided by the firm on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX will finish 2012 at 1,450 and rise to 1,525 by mid-2013, according to Chris Leavy, BlackRock's chief investment officer, fundamental equities of the Americas.

The new targets are up from the firm's earlier forecasts and reflect a 7 percent rally in the benchmark index since early August. Earlier, the firm projected the S&P 500 would finish the year at 1,350 and rise to 1,400 by mid-2013.

BlackRock provided the targets to Reuters, which is releasing its broad global equity poll on Wednesday.

The firm had assets under management of about $3.56 trillion on June 30, including $297 billion in equities under management.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the S&P 500 was down 0.5 percent at around 1,450, where BlackRock says it will finish the year, but 4.8 percent below its target for mid-2013. The index reversed earlier gains around midday after BlackRock updated its targets.

The new targets are the first from Leavy, who took over management of the firm's large-cap series funds in June from Bob Doll, the firm's chief equity strategist. Doll, a 30-year industry veteran, is in the process of retiring from the firm. Leavy has already taken over responsibility for the firm's large-cap series funds.

Leavy was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Lisa Von Ahn and Richard Chang)

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