Goldman Sachs says the bear market isn’t over yet—and 2023 won’t be a much better year for investors

November 21, 2022, 4:41 PM UTC
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on November 11, 2022.
Spencer Platt—Getty Images

The bear market isn’t anywhere close to being over and investors shouldn’t be getting too excited about what the new year will bring for their stock holdings, according to Goldman Sachs.

The authors of Goldman’s note suggested that investors shouldn’t be deceived by the recent gains into thinking equities were back on an upward trajectory, arguing the recent rally was not sustainable.

“The conditions that are typically consistent with an equity trough have not yet been reached,” strategists at the investment banking giant said in a note on Monday.

They argued that before a prolonged recovery could go ahead, interest rates needed to peak and stock valuations needed to fall to levels more in line with a recession.

Goldman’s strategists estimated that the S&P 500 would end 2023 at 4,000 points—only around 1% higher than the level it was trading at on Monday morning. The index is down almost 20% so far this year.

Global equity markets have rallied in recent weeks on the back of softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data—but stocks on Wall Street edged lower during early trade on Monday ahead of a string of retail earnings, a speech from the Fed and the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The near-term path for equity markets is likely to be volatile and down,” they said, noting that stocks don’t usually recover from their bottoms until slowdowns in the economy and corporate earnings decelerate.

Goldman’s analysts are the latest market watchers to throw cold water on whether the rally seen over the past couple of weeks means stocks have begun to emerge from the bear market.

Just over a week ago, billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he remained “quite bearish on what is going to happen” in equity markets, while veteran economist Nouriel Roubini told Fortune earlier this month that stocks had a further 20% to fall.

Meanwhile, analysts at Glenmede warned at the end of October that based on historical evidence, equities may still only be two-thirds of the way through the current bear market.

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