It’s shaping up to be the crummiest year for U.S. stocks since the implosion of Lehman Brothers.
The bull market on Wall Street has run into a wall of alarming news: turbulence in China, vague Federal Reserve policy, a crash in oil prices, and a slowdown in earnings growth.
Those shockwaves have wiped out 6% of the value from the S&P 500 so far this year.
Here’s the good news: investment professionals polled by CNNMoney believe a year-end Santa Claus rally will lift stocks off the mat and prevent a bear market from materializing. On average, survey respondents estimate the S&P 500 will end the year at 2015, up 3% from Friday’s close.
The bad news is that the market would still finish the year 2% below where it started. That would make 2015 the worst year for the S&P 500 since 2008 — when it plunged 38% amid the financial crisis.
“Right now you’ve got a lot of pessimism driving prices. This is going to be a very uninspiring year for U.S. stocks,” said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock.