New York Post

Party on! More stock gains seen in 2018

- By STAN CHOE

Wall Street is forecastin­g another year of gains for stocks in 2018, even as worries rise that the end may be nearing for one of the market’s greatest runs in history.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has nearly quadrupled since the dark days of early 2009, and this bull run of eight-plus years is well into senior-citizen status. Only the rally of 1990 to 2000 lasted longer. But analysts see several reasons this bull market isn’t ready for retirement. Chief among them: Economies around the world are growing in sync.

The global gains, along with the lower tax rates that Congress just approved, should help companies pile their profits even higher. That should provide more life for the market, analysts say, because stock prices tend to follow the path of corporate profits more than any- thing else over the long term. Plus, interest rates are expected to remain relatively low, which can raise investor appetite for stocks.

The expected gains aren’t as strong as in the past few years, however. For one thing, stocks are expensive. There are also concerns that a growing economy could eventually spark inflation.

Another gain for stocks in 2018 would be the latest step into record territory for a market that’s been maligned and doubted since it emerged from the rubble of the global financial crisis. Investors have been hesitant to fully embrace stocks after watching the market lose more than half its value from late 2007 into early 2009.

“No one seems complacent” about the market’s performanc­e, said Rob Lovelace, vice chairman of the Capital Group, whose American Funds family of mutual funds invests $1.5 trillion.

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