Low Interest Rates, Gas Prices to Fuel Stock Market Gains in 2015

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 made another new all-time high on Monday, and John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer & Company, thinks those gains are going to continue in 2015. 

On CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" Monday, he said accommodative monetary policy, low energy prices and a slight wage boost will help propel the S&P 500 to 2,311 in 2015. Corporate revenue should climb slightly as consumer confidence improves. His top picks include cyclical, technology industrial and material stocks. 

"We could easily get there," Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said of Stoltzfus's price target. With an interest rate hike unlikely until the second half of 2015 at the earliest, investors will continue to put money to work in the stock market.

The "lower for longer" interest rate mentality is good for consumers and the stock market, said Stephanie Link, chief investment officer of TheStreet and co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. However, international equities will likely be the better investment in 2015, even though U.S. stocks still seem poised to generate a single-digit percentage return. 

A single-digit percentage return is still pretty good, said Joseph Terranova, chief market strategist for Virtus Investment Partners. The Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates if there are still economic issues in Europe and Japan, he added. 

Retail and consumer discretionary stocks continue to do well, Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, pointed out. As for the broader market, it helps that oil prices have stabilized, he said. 

Retail stocks continue to climb, Link said, because lower oil prices will give consumers more disposable income. The economy is improving and more jobs are also being creating, she said. 

When OPEC meets Thursday, the cartel is likely to cut oil production by 1 million barrels per day, Terranova said. If it doesn't, West Texas Intermediate is likely headed to the $68 to $70 range. Najarian agreed OPEC will likely cut production by a small amount to prevent oil prices from moving lower. 

Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James, said there likely won't be a sizable OPEC production cut. Regardless, oil prices are "very close" to a bottom. He downgraded Exxon Mobil  (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) , and upgraded Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Hess (HES) .

Link said she likes Apache (APA) , Anadarko Petroleum (APC) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Kinder Morgan (KMI) . Najarian is a buyer of APC, Devon Energy (DVN) , Transocean (RIG)  and Baker Hughes (BHI) .

On retail, Kathy Welch, executive vice president of retail for Forest City Ratner Companies, said her company operates, develops and operates shopping malls as well as such known pieces of real estate as the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn and the New York Times building in Manhattan, both in New York City. 

Welch says she's optimistic headed into the holiday season because investors have more money in their pockets to spend this year. Retailers are doing a good job expanding the holiday shopping week to include more than just Black Friday. Winter accessories, fitness trackers and electronics appear to be the "must-haves" this year. She expects Kate Spade (KATE) and Michael Kors (KORS) to outperform. 

Michael Kors should do well this year, Terranova said. He also likes companies that play into the fitness and wellness trend. Brown is a buyer of Apple (AAPL) . Kate Spade has strong traffic, solid same-store sales growth, margin expansion and double digit revenue growth, Link added. She likes the stock on the long side.

For their final trades, Najarian is buying AbbVie (ABBV) and Link is a buyer of Splunk (SPLK) . Brown said to buy Mobileye (MBLY) and Terranova is buying Ford (F) .

-- Written by Bret Kenwell 

Follow @BretKenwell

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