By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK, Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks have entered a new bull market, and the S&P 500 index could rise as much as 10 percent from current levels by the end of this year, Abby Joseph Cohen, the head of Goldman Sachs' investment policy committee, said on CNBC on Thursday. Goldman Sachs sees the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index in a range of 1,050-1,100 toward year-end, said Cohen, the firm's senior investment strategist and president of its global markets institute. That range, she said, "is where we should be toward the end of this year." Stocks have recovered sharply since hitting 12-year lows in early March, with the S&P 500 index now up 47 percent since trading as low as 666.79 points in March. In early afternoon trade on Thursday, the S&P was off 0.63 percent at 996.44 points. "We do think the new bull market has begun," Cohen said. "It may prove it began in March of this year." Cohen also said she expects the labor market to improve, but in "an erratic way. "It appears job losses are slowing, and there is some job creation going on," she said. But "we have many more months of difficult labor situation ahead, even if the recession, using GDP or industrial production, is almost over." Employment data has been keenly watched for signs of improvement. On Friday, investors will get another look at the job situation with the Labor Department's July employment report. (Editing by Leslie Adler) Keywords: USA STOCKS/GOLDMAN COHEN (firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 646 223 6393; Reuters Messaging:email@example.com) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.
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