While it might not be clear where the S&P 500 will go this year—the new projection appears to be 3,900—it’s still very clear that the U.S. stock market is in an ongoing bear market. With that thought, strategists at BNP Paribas looked back at 100 years of market crashes in an effort to see where the market might go next, reports an article in MarketWatch.
The strategists predict a capitulation event sometime in 2023. Though they consider both the pandemic crash of March 2020 and the financial crisis of 2008 to be bad models, they instead looked to 2002. That bear market lasted 2 years, saw a drop of 50% and a 29% high-to-low shift in the VIX—similar to other typical bear markets that lasted 1.5 years, have an average drawdown of 38% and average VIX peak of 40.5. Using that model, it would put the trough roughly halfway through 2023, see the S&P 500 bottom out at about 3,000 and the Vix in the lower 40s, according to the article. And indeed, the bull markets of the 1990s and the 2010s were similar, categorized by high retail participation, huge price/earnings multiple price expansion, and some of the biggest winners turning out to be unprofitable. In order to do their analysis, the BNP strategists recreated the VIX to show the last 100 years, which showed that volatility generally peaks right at or just before the moment the market bottoms out. It’s at that moment when capitulation usually happens, where analysts begin to cut their forecasts, volatility skyrockets, and nervous investors begin to panic sell.
One thing to look for is companies that have kept up stock buybacks even through the slowdown, according to the article. And while the BNP strategists believe tech is still vulnerable, what they refer to as “prime tech” could still outperform in the more cyclical areas of the technology sector.