Are equity and economic analysts whistling past the proverbial graveyard?

By | January 5, 2015

Or will their prognostications for 2015 be spot-on?

As we enter 2015 stock market analysts are generally predicting a positive year although not in the double digit range that has been forecast in prior years!

Economists also see US economic growth in 2015 moving higher with some actually predicting above 3% for the first time since 2005 based on job growth, consumer consumption and the Fed keeping interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.

But are there any potential stumbling blocks ‘out there’ that could throw a monkey wrench into the works?

The bottom-line for investors to remember is that forecasts and predictions, while helpful, are only that and in reality no one can be sure of where things will end up on December 31st.

Be aware of some potential stumbling blocks…

Lower oil prices (WTI currently $50/barrel) are certainly good for the consumer but not necessarily good for many sectors of the economy, in addition to putting pressure on the high yield debt market that includes many oil related concerns. It also serves to increase geopolitical tensions as nations, Russia in particular, derive a great deal yearly revenue from the oil sector and are feeling great economic pain as a result. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is it signaling a global economic downturn?

The Greece elections later this month has the global markets on edge as that country may vote in an anti-austerity government and could, at some point, move out of the EU with unknown consequences.

What will the Fed do with interest rates going forward? ‘Nuff said!

Will gridlock or lack thereof in Congress and/or unilateral moves coming out of theWhite House lead to legislation that is negative for the markets?

Will the strength in the US dollar have a significant impact on US corporate profits and global trade?

Are any of the festering geopolitical hotspots poised to have a major impact in 2015? Some of these include the aforementioned Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico, etc.

In conclusion your guess is as good as mine although possibly not quite as good as the experts!

And, as we do every year, we can only hold our collective breath and hope for the best!

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Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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