This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Prudential Predicts a Historic Decade for Stocks

Updated to add the paragraph on multiple expansion.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Prudential Financial, the asset management and insurance company founded in 1875, says this year may host a historic event: the beginning of a decade in which stocks outperform bonds, the first time in a generation.

While bonds have led equities for three decades, Prudential's investment team "would not rule out the possibility of a shift this decade to a regime where stocks offer not just superior returns, but a superior risk/return trade-off compared with bonds."

Prudential Chief Investment Strategist John Praveen predicts the S&P 500 Index will rise to 1,430 by year-end, a gain of 13%. For reference, Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) estimates the S&P will only reach 1,250 (about flat compared to 2011) and Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) estimates the S&P will decline to 1,167 (down 7% over last year).

Low stock values, near-record-low interest rates, robust corporate earnings and modest growth in the overall economy (2.4% versus a consensus of 2.1%) will propel the equity market, he said. The risks are the uncertainty of the eurozone debt crisis, gridlock in Washington and a potential hard landing of China's economy.

With that backdrop, Edward Keon, portfolio manager of Quantitative Management Associates at Prudential, said the burden of proof has shifted from stocks to bonds. He said stock prices are "much more volatile than you would expect, due to changing fundamentals." But Keon still sees a surprise to the upside in stocks as more probable in 2012 than a surprise to the downside.

All of the issues we are worried about are the things the market well knows and are probably embedded in stock prices," he said.

History has proven that returns in the stock market have been far more consistent, offering 5% to 8% upside on average, compared to bonds, which have returned anywhere from a negative 3% to positive 8% to investors. Stocks have been able to show much better resiliency throughout periods of high volatility and inflation as they participate in the real growth of the economy. Bonds have more outside factors that affect them.

Praveen likes where current stock valuations are - near the lows seen in 2007-2009. This along with the low interest rates will provide a support system for the expansion of multiples.

Industrial and technology are Praveen's top sector picks for 2012. Improvements in business confidence is helping support growth in both of those industries, and while technology will likely see more growth as consumer electronics remain in high demand, infrastructure spending will help drive the industrial sector higher this year.

Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) has been a consistent performer in the industrial sector, while Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) are favorites of many in the tech space.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.64 0.00%
CAT $77.84 0.00%
GS $166.18 0.00%
MS $27.26 0.00%
QCOM $51.11 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs