Monday, March 05, 2007

The Big Boys Are Big Bulls

From Bloomberg:

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- The biggest money managers and strategists on Wall Street are standing their ground.

They say the four-year bull market in U.S. stocks will persist even after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index plunged the most since January 2003 last week on concern a slowing economy will hurt corporate profits.

Putnam Investments, which oversees one of the best- performing U.S. equity funds, and BlackRock Inc., the second- largest publicly traded U.S. money manager, say stocks are cheap. Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG are telling investors to add to their U.S. holdings. All 15 strategists tracked by Bloomberg were sticking with their forecasts as of March 2. The S&P 500 lost 1.1 percent that day, bringing its weekly decline to 4.4 percent.

``We're more favorably disposed to the U.S. market than we were at the end of last year,'' said Kevin Cronin, who oversees $192 billion as head of investments at Boston-based Putnam. The selloff has been a ``bit overblown.''

The strategists surveyed by Bloomberg predict, on average, a 12 percent increase for the S&P 500 within a year...