Morgan Stanley warns stock rally is not the start of a bull market
Are US stocks headed for a bull market? Morgan Stanley says no
The sizable rally in the U.S. stock market over the past month is likely to fizzle out soon, according to Morgan Stanley.
Michael Wilson, the chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley and a longtime Wall Street bear, said in an analyst note on Monday that recent strong gains in the market will not last for long.
"Is this finally the breakout to confirm a new bull market?" Wilson wrote. "The short answer is no."
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That is due to a number of "technical signals" that contradict the start of a bear market, including the looming debt-ceiling deadline, lofty valuations, broad cyclical underperformance by regional banks, retailers and transport, Wilson wrote.
In addition, he believes that last week's market movement – in which the S&P surpassed 4,200 points for the first time in more than six months – was indicative of "panic buying."
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"Rather than a short squeeze, the market was driven by the biggest winners as more market participants convinced themselves the next bull market may have begun and they can't afford to miss it."
The gloomy forecast comes after a brutal year for the stock market, its worst since the 2008 financial crisis. All three indexes tumbled in 2022, snapping a three-year win streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the year down 8.8%, the best of the three. The S&P 500 sank 19.4% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 33.1%.
Stocks rallied in the first quarter of 2023, and equities seem poised to continue that momentum despite sticky inflation, banking turmoil and the threat of a first-ever U.S. debt default. As of Monday morning, the S&P is up about 9.8% from the start of the year.
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Wilson previously warned the benchmark S&P will tumble about 20% over the course of the year due to an earnings recession and continued fallout from the banking crisis.