When it comes to approaching the stock market, there are so many different options across so many different countries, and of course with so many different publicly listed companies. This can be quite intimidating and difficult to follow as certain companies can be affected differently, but there are other options which are seen as much safer bets.
Many traders like to look at major stock indices when they come to trading as the idea of an index is that it groups some of the bigger, better, and more well-performing together so that their gains are spread across, and their losses are mitigated somewhat.
One of the most popular stock exchange indexes is the S&P 500. This is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it to be one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market.
Because of this, the S&P 500 is often followed to determine the health of the stock markets in the USA, but globally as well seeing as many of the companies in the 500 have a strong influence over the global markets. The reason why this index is such a powerful one is that the companies involved have a huge sway on the market, but it is usually in an upward trend, which is positive for investors.
As of March 13, 2021, the S&P 500 has an annual total return of 18.40%, compared to 31.49% last year. This is higher than the long-term average of 9.64%. This makes it a reliable investment for gains, but it is also prone to different movements and sways thanks to a variety of factors, and forecasting its movements can help investors cash in a lot of money.
S&P 500 Forecast: For 2021 And Beyond
2021 is always going to be an interesting year across the entire trading space because of the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus which has had a massive impact on the entire globe, from the markets to the economy, to the health sector and even the public liberties of almost every country.
But, it is also worth looking into where the S&P 500 was coming into the year with a new President taking office and things starting to reopen, because this paints an interesting picture of what the rest of 2021 may look like, and in fact what the future holds as this year will more than likely be a defining one.
In 2020, the stock market was setting new record highs, but most gains were eliminated in March due to the Black Thursday panic selloff.
The fall induced from the Covid-19 pandemic took the S&P 500 level to a level that has not been seen since late 2016, but, falls like this are not always the worst thing as they offer opportunities to get into the market that is set to climb again, and that is evident in how the market is currently moving.
However, the S&P 500 has since recovered to new highs throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021. Does the market make a recovery from here, or does another selloff occur as the economy isn’t quite yet ready to reopen fully?
S&P 500 Historical Overview
The S&P 500 has become a popular investing index since its initiation in 1957. It was introduced by Standard & Poor’s in 1957 as a stock market index to track the value of 500 large corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Composite.
WHat the history of this index shows is that because it is somewhat of a representation of the health of the American economy and space, it is often influenced by factors that affect the entire country. For example, during its first 10 years, the value of the index rose to nearly 700 points, reflecting the economic boom that followed World War II.
But, from 1969 to early 1981, the index gradually declined where it fell to a point under 300 with the US economy struggling with stagnant growth and high inflation.
So, this index really is a bit of a bellwether of the US economy and this is important to note because when things are going well for America, the index will be higher, but if the opposite happens, things can go the other way.
The index opened at 386.36 points and as explained it has risen to over 700 points after the war, and slumped back down again in economic stagnation. But, from 1982 to 2000, stock market prices rose and the S&P 500 climbed 1,350%. The factors that contributed to the rise in stock prices were things like interest rates trending lower, strong global economic growth as a result of increasing levels of globalization, a rise in the middle class, technological innovations, a stable political climate, and falling commodity prices.
Current S&P 500 Index
If we look at the current situation of the S&P 500, we can see a really interesting graph over the last six months. Looking below we can see the high rising index climbing to impressive heights, but the quick fall is directly related to the impact of Covid-19, then a massive rebound to new highs afterward.
When news started spreading that the Coivd-19 pandemic was spreading across the globe and would certainly have a major effect on the global economy, and the USA especially with its higher numbers of cases, the markets quickly reacted.
In the matter of a few days the index fell to levels last seen in October 2016 as the notion of this index being a barometer of the health of the US economy came to be. Factors such as high elves of unemployment applications and quantitative easing proved the economy was in trouble and the markets reacted.
However, the market eventually recovered to set new all-time highs on the heels of stimulus money pumping markets.
Top Factors That Impact S&P 500 In 2021 & In Future
It is probably a good time to delve deeper into the factors that have been known to influence the S&P 500 as we have come to the understanding that what is bad for the US economy is bad for the index, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The stock markets are easily influenced by negative and positive news as these impact the companies involved in the market and their possibility of being profitable. So, there are three key factors in just the last year or so that have made major impacts on the charts.
The Federal Reserve, which is the department that controls the money, and basically the economy, can have a huge role to play in the way the stock markets move. Through 2020, the Fed started taking a patient, dovish stance, which meant that interest rates were halted, then lowered.
Then, this was taken a step further with the Covid-19 panic as the Fed started printing more money and slashed interest rates again. With rates on the low, credit card borrowing rates will stabilize, and flat mortgage rates will be welcome for buyers.
Lower rates are known to make stocks more attractive as investments because of the opportunity cost of owning fixed income assets. This in turn could be a major boost for the S&P 500 index in the coming months as the Fed looks to stimulate the ailing economy.
As explained, in the past, economic booms following World War II and even economic stagnation in the 70s and 80s had their parts to play with the growth and decline of the stock markets and the S&P 500 especially.
S&P 500 Forecast 2021
The S&P 500 has historically done well for investors, and given the ongoing stimulus efforts, should continue to do so. Analysts expect the popular US stock market index to continue to grow in 2021 after bumpy 2020.
“Our economists now forecast the deepest recession in the post-war era, and health care experts have extended the timeline for social distancing,” quant strategist Savita Subramanian. wrote. “We incorporate these elements, as well as what the world might look like post-COVID 19 into our market outlook.”
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Golub claims stocks are going back up in 2021.
However, technicals are showing that another steep selloff could arrive taking some exuberance out of the market currently. As overheated as the market has been, its been a full-blown bull market and borderline bubble across stocks since last year, and that factor has investors worrying.
But when markets are exuberant, they can often rise higher than expected which is a very real possibility for the S&P 500 amidst more stimulus money.
Future S&P 500 Predictions
Looking beyond 2021, there is bound to be some real movements in the stock markets as volatility is increasing. The fall in the S&P 500 was directly correlated to the expected impact on the economy, and while the impact will still be felt throughout 2021, markets can bounce back.
S&P Predictions For Next 5 Years (Until 2025)
Almost all longer term predictions for the stock market hinge upon more federal stimulus money inflating equity prices further. The ongoing bubble could continue on for several years as the monetary supply expands and the dollar and other fiat currencies weakened due to inflation.
This could support ongoing annualized growth in the S&P 500 as investors have come to know. The chart below shows that stimulus money has kept the stock market’s parabolic curve in tact, meaning that another push significantly higher isn’t out of the question.
Zoomed in, however, the yearly candle closed as a hanging man, left dangling on the parabolic trendline with a deep wick below it thanks to Black Thursday.
Past price action shows the failed M-shaped top that resulted in another push higher. Quantitative easing at the time helped sustain prices. Could the same thing happen again and stimulus money cause another short squeeze to continued growth across the stock market?
Losing the trendline, would be bad for the stock market, and likely the economy it represents. Currently, the GDP doesn’t match the stock market’s growth, which in the past is an indicator that things need some time to cool off. Combined with bubble-like behavior, things are especially rocky over the next five years.
S&P 500 10 Years Forecast (Until 2030)
Looking even longer, the S&P 500 as a measure of economic health and well being should be well past the damage caused by the covid-19 recession, and in fact, should be topping a new high before the next possible recession which often comes in 12 year cycles.
Since 1947, the S&P 500 has produced roughly 8% annual gains, suggesting the current environment may be a historically bad entry point for investors. In terms of a price target, Bank of America is targeting S&P 500 4,100 to 4,500 by 2030, between 47% and 61% overall upside over the next 10 years.
What determines S&p 500?
The S&P 500, while not a direct reflection of the health of the US economy, has a big correlation to what is happening with the economy as it covers the top 500 companies in the US and their effectiveness is based on the economy.
How often do S&P 500 companies change?
There is no predetermined time for the companies in the S&P 500 to change, but rather there are ongoing changes as companies drop out and then replace them. This is also happening more often than in years past.
Why is the S&P 500 so important?
The S&P 500 is both popular and important as it takes the best companies that an investor can look at investing in and out them in one place. This is easy for investors to invest in successful companies, and the success of the S&P 500 is indicative of the success of big business in the country.
Can you buy S&P 500?
The S&P 500 is not an actual stock that one can invest in, rather it is an index that the investment is made. Instead of purchasing 500+ separate stocks (which are ever-changing anyhow), it’s an opportunity to invest in a single fund.
Does the S&P 500 pay dividends?
The S&P 500 index tracks stocks, many of which pay out a regular dividend. The dividend yield of the index is the amount of total dividends earned in a year divided by the price of the index. Historical dividend yields for the S&P 500 have typically ranged from between 3% to 5%.
Summary: What is the future of the S&P 500
While things seen relatively poor for the S%P 500as things stand because both the markets and the economy are in a position that is not very fruitful for growth, there is a positive side to it. The drop seen in the market correlates to the impact on the economy, but the pandemic is already showing signs of letting up and recovering and this will mean a return to strength for the S&P 500.
The knowledge that the economy, and the markets, will recover is almost universally felt, the time it takes and how well it recovers is another thing, but for many traders this represents a perfect time to enter the market and take advantage of the probable upswing in the coming months, if not years.
In order to take advantage of the lows that the market are currently going through and the expected return to new highs after the pandemic, it is a good time to find a platform that offers you the chance to trade the S&P 500 — such as PrimeXBT: you can sign up here
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