Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders, whose calls on the start and end of the “Great Recession” proved quite accurate, says she’s “very optimistic” heading into 2011.
“I remain very optimistic, especially about the economy, as we start the new year,” Sonders recently wrote in commentary on Schwab’s web site. “I think the consensus of about 3% US gross domestic product (GDP) growth is probably too low and that we’ll finally see some meaningful traction on the job creation front this year.”
Sonders says she is concerned, however, about current elevated sentiment levels. And she says there are risk factors to keep in mind heading into the New Year, including the housing market, European debt crisis, and a tightening of China’s monetary policy. But on the whole she seems quite positive, citing several reasons for optimism. Among them: the new tax bill; strength in leading indicators and manufacturing; a significant turn to the downside for initial unemployment claims; a sharp upturn in merger & acquisition activity; and the widening of the yield curve.
“Although a pullback is probably overdue and would be healthy, barring any extreme shocks, it would likely be short-lived and shallow,” Sonders writes. “It could also set the stage for another impressive rally as more individual investors become participants.”
Sonders adds that “investors need to be mindful of complacency, but also to make sure they’re not still loaded up on bonds — a major capitulation from bonds to stocks is possible.”