Goldman Sachs forecasts modest rise for S&P 500 index in 2022

A trader looks at a screen that charts the S&P 500 on the floor in New York
A trader looks at a screen that charts the S&P 500 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs expects the S&P 500 index (.SPX) to rise by a more modest 9% by the end of next year, saying the record-setting rally is likely to cool on worries over slowing economic growth and the prospects of higher interest rates.

The U.S. equities market has been on a tear this year, with the benchmark index surging about 25% as the economy recovers from the pandemic lows, driving corporate earnings.

However, Goldman's forecast for the index was in contrast with that of Morgan Stanley, which expects the S&P 500 to move lower in 2022, with a base case target of 4,400. read more

Goldman is expecting the index to hit 5,100 by the end of next year. It closed at 4,682.80 on Monday

"Decelerating economic growth, a tightening Fed, and rising real yields suggest investors should expect modestly below-average returns next year," Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin said in a note.

The brokerage expects net income per share to grow 8% to $226 in 2022. It had earlier raised the earnings per share forecast for S&P 500 companies to $207 from $193 for 2021, implying annual growth of 45%.

Profit margins will rise by 40 basis point to 12.6% in 2022, but fall in 2023 due to corporate tax reforms, Kostin added.

Even though real rates will rise, which refers to interest rate minus inflation, they will remain negative, and investor equity allocations will continue to post record highs, Kostin said.

Reporting by Siddarth S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva

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