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Raising Forecasts Again: Learn Why

Raising Forecasts Again: Learn Why

April 06, 2021
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Daily Insights

U.S. stocks point higher after employers added the most jobs in seven months.

  • Several major European markets are closed for the holiday.
  • Japanese and Korean markets climbed overnight, while China and Hong Kong were closed for the holidays.

Raising our economic, earnings, and yield forecasts

The U.S. economy’s recovery from the pandemic continues to surpass our expectations, aided by the accelerating vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and America’s desire to resume some semblance of normal daily life.

  • Our 2021 U.S. GDP growth forecast goes from 5—5.5% to 6.25—6.75%.
  • Our 2021 S&P 500 Index earnings per share forecast goes from $170 to $175—$177.50.
  • We are also raising—and narrowing—our 10-year Treasury yield forecast range to 1.75—2.00%, up from 1.25%—1.75%.
  • Our S&P 500 Index target remains unchanged.

Labor market grows the most in seven months

  • S. nonfarm payroll growth surged in March as the labor market added 916,000 jobs, trouncing the median surveyed economist estimate for a 660,000 gain.
  • Positive developments continued under the hood, as the labor force participation rate rose while the unemployment rate fell to 6% from 6.2%. Average hourly earnings fell slightly, for now a positive development as this signals lower wage workers rejoining the workforce.
  • Segments of the labor market most dependent on in-person interaction saw the greatest gains, most notably hospitality and leisure, construction, and education services.
  • The March report helps to confirm our view that stimulus paired with vaccination progress should lead to a rapid reopening of the economy and quick rehiring. In our view, this is supportive of stocks and other risk assets, and reinforces our “risk on” portfolio positioning recommendation.

View enlarged chart.

Week ahead

The following economic data is slated to be released this week:

Technical update

The S&P 500 gained 1.2% to close on a record high on Thursday and is continuing that momentum this morning. On close watch will be the Nasdaq Composite, which has a chance to test resistance at 13,607. A move above this level would be the highest close for the Nasdaq since February 19 and represents a bullish breakout from the recent consolidation.

COVID-19 news

The United States reported 37,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as testing data slowed due to the Easter holiday (source: New York Times).

  • Over the past week, there has been an average of 64,000 cases per day, an increase of 18% from the week prior.
  • Vaccinations in the U.S. continue to increase, with 75% of the population aged 65 or older receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
  • Just over 40% of the population over the age of 18 has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Let’s Talk About Inflation

On the LPL Market Signals podcast, Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder examine inflation concerns and explain why they think any increases in inflation will most likely be fleeting.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

All index and market data are from FactSet and MarketWatch.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).

Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates.  To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity.

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