Goldman Sachs Forecasts Modest Rise for S&P 500 Index in 2022

By Reuters
November 16, 2021 Updated: November 16, 2021

Goldman Sachs expects the S&P 500 index to rise by a more modest 9 percent by the end of next year, saying the record-setting rally is likely to cool on worries over slowing economic growth and the prospects of higher interest rates.

The U.S. equities market has been on a tear this year, with the benchmark index surging about 25 percent as the economy recovers from the pandemic lows, driving corporate earnings.

However, Goldman’s forecast for the index was in contrast with that of Morgan Stanley, which expects the S&P 500 to move lower in 2022, with a base case target of 4,400.

Goldman is expecting the index to hit 5,100 by the end of next year. It closed at 4,682.80 on Monday

“Decelerating economic growth, a tightening Fed, and rising real yields suggest investors should expect modestly below-average returns next year,” Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin said in a note.

The brokerage expects net income per share to grow 8 percent to $226 in 2022. It had earlier raised the earnings per share forecast for S&P 500 companies to $207 from $193 for 2021, implying annual growth of 45 percent.

Profit margins will rise by 40 basis point to 12.6 percent in 2022, but fall in 2023 due to corporate tax reforms, Kostin added.

Even though real rates will rise, which refers to interest rate minus inflation, they will remain negative, and investor equity allocations will continue to post record highs, Kostin said.