The US benchmark S&P 500 stock index has been steadily marching throughout 2019, ducking and avoiding multiple geopolitical headwinds, including the US and China trade wars, Brexit and Middle East kinetic conflicts, as well as a halt from the company's business earnings growth, but it is still in line with the best calendar year trend since 2013.
Predicting the performance of the stock market in such an environment is an inevitable task as analysts have very little history to predict the effects of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Intermittent setbacks, triggered by turmoil over Federal Reserve policy or international trade conflict, were spread throughout the year with the S&P 500 Index
SPX, + 0.27%
falling 6.6% from April 30 to June 3, 5.2% between July 26 and August 27, and 4.0% between 19 September and October 2.
Each of the protests was catalyzed by macroeconomic concerns such as fear of a Federal Reserve that would not be accommodating enough to protect the US economy from the effects of President Trump's erratic trade protectionism. In other words, there have been many opportunities for bullish strategists to turn bearish or vice versa.
Here are 15 of the best Wall Street strategists ranked by proximity to the year's end goal of the S&P 500's current record level, as of Thursday's close of 3,085.18. (Where strategists gave reach, MarketWatch used the midpoint).
In early November, the bulls took over, and it's clear that most people on Wall Street didn't expect the stock market to be as resilient as it has been, but with seven weeks left in the year, there's plenty of time for bears to win the day.