LPL Financial Research released its 2012 Outlook on December 1st. I have condensed some of the material for brevity (the report is 24 pages). I encourage you to go to download a copy if you would like to read the entire report.
- Treasury yields are currently around 2%. Yields could be 3% by years end.
- There is a possibility of a mild recession in Europe. Some European nations may already be in one.
- Potential for another U. S. recession is about 33% due to lack of job growth and debt concerns. However, if it were not for the European situation, the probability of a U.S. recession could be as low as 1 in 20.
- Consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Two thirds of this money is spent on things consumers must have, not on the things that they want. So consumer discretionary spending may drop, but business spending may make up for or exceed the difference.
- Commodity prices are expected to rise, which could positively impact the S&P, because most of the S&P companies are producers or suppliers of commodities. In addition, information technology, healthcare, financials and telecommunications should be affected very little by an increase in commodity prices.
- High quality bond yields should remain somewhat low, while high yield bonds (which are more risky) could see high single digit returns.
- Independent voters will determine the U.S. election in 2012. As the year progresses and the political outcome becomes clearer, the markets could be less volatile and we may see more stability.
- The value of the dollar may drop slightly which could promote a slight increase in gold prices.
- Possible trade conflict on the horizon with China? Congress may impose tariffs.
- High quality municipal bonds may continue to do well.
- By the middle of 2012, we will approach 3 years of economic expansion. Small and mid-cap stocks tend to do better in the environment that we see as likely in 2012.
Derek Carawan is a LPL Financial Advisor and LPL Registered Principal with Carawan Financial Partners, Inc. / Securities offered through LPL Financial/ Member FINRA/SIPC and may be reached at, www.carawanfp.com, 919-870-8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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