NEW YORK – Americans arent expecting another bang-up year for the stock market, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
Of the people polled, 40 percent think the market will stabilize where it is now by the end of 2014, with 39 percent predicting that it will drop, but not crash. Only 14 percent believe the market will rise and 5 percent think it will crash.
On Monday stocks soared after two down weeks, as investors warmed up to the idea that the economy is getting better.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 129 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 15,884.57, after rising almost 175 points in the morning. The Standard & Poors 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,786.54. The Nasdaq composite was higher by 28 points, or 0.7 percent, at 4,029.52.
The rally has been fueled by higher corporate earnings, a slow but steady recovery in the economy and stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Perhaps because of the slow recovery, only about half of the general public noted the markets strong performance, according to the poll. Investors were more aware of the booming market, however, as 73 percent say it improved.
The poll also shows that individuals are less optimistic about the outlook for the stock market than many investment professionals.
While few market strategists expect stocks to keep climbing at the same pace, many see them extending their gains at a slower rate. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts the S&P 500 index will end next year at 2,000, about 13 percent higher than its current level. Wells Fargo Advisors forecasts the index will climb as high as 1,900, a gain of about 7 percent.