May 19, 2020

‘Betting against the U.S. economy and consumer is a loser’s game’

[MarketWatch, Getty Images]

Why one strategist sees Dow 30,000 next year and 40,000 by 2023

An upbeat Monday has become something of a collector’s item in recent months, but a wave of positivity swept across stocks to start the week.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent U.S. stocks higher on Monday after saying that the central bank was “not out of ammunition by a long shot” to fight the recession, in an interview on CBS news magazine show “60 Minutes.” Biotech firm Moderna MRNA+19.96%   announced what appear to be very positive results in early human trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine, which also boosted stocks.

Data suggesting the rate of new global coronavirus cases is slowing, and more states and countries beginning to emerge from lockdown, added to the optimism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA+3.85%  surged 911.95 points, or 3.9% higher on Monday – the biggest daily advance in six weeks.

Paul Schatz, the president of Heritage Capital, said the Dow DJIA+3.85%   could hit 30,000 points by 2021 and 40,000 by 2023 as the U.S. economy recovers over the longer term.

“To bet against the U.S. economy and consumer over the long-term is a loser’s game,” Schatz said in a first quarter note to clients.

“I firmly believe we will see Dow 30,000 in 2021 with Dow 40,000 coming by 2023. Once we get over this massive hurdle, there will be too many things working in favor to derail that train when it gets going.”

While the other side of the coronavirus crisis will look different from life pre-virus, Schatz said the American “spending spirit” was unlikely to change. He also noted that the historic first quarter decline began with the “foundation of the market being fairly solid,” unlike in 2018, 2011, 2008 and 2000.

“20-plus% declines have always been accompanied by termites eating away at the market beneath the surface before the house falls down — we did not see the usual termite infestation this time around,” he said.

Schatz said that COVID-19 would resurface in the fall but that America would be ready this time — with tests, ventilators and medical equipment — buying time until a vaccine emerges in early 2021.

He saw a recovery in the third or fourth quarter with “back to back strong quarter of GDP growth” regaining between 50% and 80% of what was lost, while the rest would take longer as small businesses are unable to reopen and employees lose their jobs.

By Callum Keown

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