Wall Street's Strategists About As Good As Monkeys Throwing Darts
The Standard & Poor's 500 had its best week of 2016, gaining 2.8% in the four days of trading ended Friday, February 19.
2016 has gotten off to a difficult start for stocks. The S&P 500 started the year at 2044 and closed Friday at 1918, about a 5% loss for the first seven weeks of the year.
Meyer had a successful career on Wall Street as a portfolio manager and senior strategist for one of the world's largest investment companies before launching an independent economic research firm in 2009. Every year since 2007, Meyer has tracked the sector predictions of what Barron's says are Wall Street's "top strategists," and every year the strategists' picks prove to be wrong.
Meyer says the 10 forecasts made by Wall Street's top strategists in a Barron's cover story in December 2014 were not even close to picking the best and worst sectors. To be fair, the Wall Street strategists in 2015 did make two correct calls on the 10 industry sectors comprising the Standard & Poor's 500 index. They were right about tech and utilities. However, the Barron's panelists missed three calls and were totally wrong on three more.
Energy, which the Barron's strategists, as a group, liked - three of the 10 Wall Street firms had been bullish on energy in December 2014 and one was bearish on energy stocks - lost nearly a quarter of their value in 2015. Yet more of the Wall Street strategists had been bullish than bearish on the energy sector.
Financials and industrials were the among the industry sectors that the strategists, as a group, favored. Financial and industrials trailed the S&P 500.
More of the 10 strategists had been neutral or negative on the two best-performing sectors, consumer discretionary and consumer staples. These two sectors topped the list of 10 S&P industry groups.
If the top Wall Strategists' picks seem to not be highly correlated with actual returns, it is because that is the reality.
- Is The New Record High In Stocks Irrational?
- Stocks Break New Record; Economic Outlook Clears
- Despite Frights, Can The Expansion Continue?
- Retail Sales Coverage Reflected The Narrow View Of The Media
- Small-Business Optimism Declines But Remains High
- Analysis Of New Employment, Manufacturing & Service Economy Data
- Quarter Ends Well Despite Trade War, Inverted Yield Curve & Political Crisis
- No Recession But A Slower Pace Of Growth
- Fickle Financial Headlines Brighten
- Economy Gets Bad Press Again
- Europe's Growth Problem And Your Portfolio
- Stocks Dropped 2.6% On Friday, As Reality Gap Seemed To Widen
- A Prudent Perspective On Recent Volatility
- A Tale Of Two Economies
- Amid Worries, New Equity Risk Premium Data Explained
- GDP Rose More Than Expected; Stocks Top Record Again
- Slower Growth Confirmed By June Leading Economic Indicators
- Stocks Closed At A Record High; Should You Worry?
- Amid Record Stock Prices, Fed Policy Is A Risk
- Uncle Sam Delivers A Strong Economy
- A Dramatic Pause, As Expansion Breaks Longevity Record
- The Explosion In Real Retail Sales You Never Hear About
- Amid Signs Of Weakness, Fed Reverses Course; Stocks Rally
- Three Stories Affecting Your Wealth This Week