Twenty-Thirteen (2013). It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Being a student of the fine art of forecasting, I have been making notes for the past two months of various prognostications for how the DJIA and the S & P 500 will perform in 2013.
I've never seen so many diametrically opposed predictions as I've seen for this year. They are all over the map. Even some of the most grizzled Wall Street veterans are vehemently disagreeing with how well (or how badly) the markets will do this year.
Two examples: Jeremy Siegel (noted Professor of Finance at Wharton) said the Dow will reach 15,000 before the end of 2013. On the flip side, Marc Faber (aka 'Dr. Doom') is predicting the bull market will end this year - and end ugly. With extreme predictions like that, one of these two bright individuals (with good track records) will be horribly wrong.
While not as extreme in their predictions, Stifel Nicholas, Bank of America, and Deutsche Bank are all prediction 1600 for the S & P 500 in 2013. Wells Fargo is predicting 1525-1575.
On a more somber note, a well-respected technician at Merrill Lynch has predicted a possible 10-15% market decline in February.
And noted Wall Street analyst Gary Shilling has predicted a whopping 42% drop in the markets in 2013.
Yes, 2013 - it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It will be exciting to see how it all plays out.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.