Year-End Stock Market Rally May Eat Into 2014 Expected Gains

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As the stock market is sitting on top of gains better than any year since 1997, and as December keeps looking up and up, strategists remain optimistic for 2014. Still, a serious question needs to be addressed here going into year-end. Have the stock market gains in November and December already eaten up much of the gains that investors were hoping for in January?

24/7 Wall St. is first taking a look at the gains seen year to date, since the start of December and since the start of November. We then took a look at major Wall Street strategist calls to see what upside lies ahead in 2014. The good news is that there is still some perceived upside. The bad news is that the gains in December and November may be chewing up much of that expected upside. Another concern is that some strategists are calling for pullbacks in 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is up almost 26% so far in 2013, and the S&P 500 Index is up even more with gains of just over 29%. The Nasdaq Composite Index is up a whopping 38% so far in 2014.

The DJIA closed up 122 points on Thursday at 16,479.88, its highest close ever. That makes for a 2.4% gain for the month and a 5.5% gain since the start of November. As the S&P 500 closed up more than eight points higher at 1,842.02 on Thursday, that was also a record close. Its gain is 2% in December, and it is up about 4.9% since the start of November.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up more than 11 points at 4,167.18 on Thursday. This makes a gain of 2.6% so far in December and a gain of more than 6.3% since the start of November.

Keep in mind that the 10-year Treasury yield just hit the 3% mark again, making for the highest Treasury yields since the summer of 2011. Investors may want to be more ambitious on pullbacks rather than chasing stocks endlessly.

So, what about those Wall Street bulls and bears? Here are some of the bullish strategist calls for the S&P 500 in 2014:

J.P. Morgan has set a target of 2,075 as one of the top bulls on Wall Street.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has set a target of 2,000.

Deutsche Bank is at 1,850 for 2014 and 2,000 for 2015, with a chance of a pullback between now and then.

Goldman Sachs has set a target of 1,900 for 2014, but also warned of a possible 10% correction between now and then.

Others at 1,900 on the S&P 500 were Barclays and Citigroup, with BlackRock at 1,920.

The team at Ned Davis Research is calling for a 20% market correction at some point soon. The good news is that this same team expects a snapback rally from there from a great buying opportunity.

The year 2013 has been an undeniably great one for stocks. Perhaps the biggest issue to consider going into January is that the gains in December and November may have eaten into much of the upside that could have come in 2014.

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