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ING U.S. Investment Management CIOs Forecast 8-10% Rise To S&P 500 In 2013

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While U.S. markets may face considerable volatility between now and yearend, there will be modest growth in 2013 and an 8-10% rise in the S&P 500, according to chief investment officers from ING U.S. Investment Management.  The impending "Fiscal Cliff" issue will continue to impact equities this year, but, once that issue is resolved, a less choppy market is expected in 2013, with a yearend target for the S&P of between 1550 and 1600.  The senior investment professionals predict GDP at between 2 to 3%.

"The U.S. will get past the Fiscal Cliff, and there will be more clarity in the market next year," said Paul Zemsky, Chief Investment Officer of Multi Asset Strategies.  "Domestic equities will benefit from the strengthening in the housing sector as well as from improvements in the labor market.  Meanwhile, Europe may continue to struggle with its economic issues for several months, but may well come out of its recession in the first half of the year."

Zemsky said that the U.S. market may favor value stocks, which should be playing catch up after some years of underperformance, and this trend could bode well for the financial sector.  Emerging market equities will be another bright spot next year, he commented, owing to such factors as China's easing of monetary policy, its intentions to boost fiscal stimulus and the expected change in government leadership.

" China will not have a hard landing, and this is very helpful for other emerging market countries," said Zemsky.  "A healthy Chinese economy means other emerging market nations should continue to enjoy strong exports, helping to fuel overall growth in emerging market economies."

In fixed income, the team prefers high yield and emerging market debt as well as senior bank loans and cautions that a changing interest rate environment later in 2013 may cause volatility.  Christine Hurtsellers, Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income and Proprietary Investments, indicated that, over the next several months, spread sectors will be a good place to earn income as central bank policy remains very accommodative. The higher quality end of the high yield market continues to be well positioned, with resilient fundamentals and low default rates.  Emerging markets are poised to benefit from recent monetary and fiscal accommodation and also present good value and opportunity. Nonetheless, later in 2013, Hurtsellers foresees the prospect of economic growth producing volatility for many fixed income sectors, including the spread sectors and U.S. government securities.

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