Big Tech’s Boom Has Strategists Scrambling to Keep Up With Rally

The frenzy around AI stocks has blindsided Wall Street forecasters, spurring a race among strategists to keep up with a stock market rally that’s already blowing past their expectations when 2024 began.

Five Wall Street firms have already lifted their forecasts for the S&P 500 Index, which is up a 7% to start the year after rising 24% in 2023. In the past week alone, Piper Sandler & Co., UBS Group AG and Barclays Plc boosted their targets. Two firms — Goldman Sachs Group and UBS — have done it twice since December.

“I’ve been doing the strategy job for about 20 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever done something like that,” said Jonathan Golub, UBS Investment Bank’s chief US equity strategist. His second revision to his 2024 target, raising it to 5,400, ties him with Yardeni Research’s Ed Yardeni for the highest among the 25 sell-side strategists tracked by Bloomberg.

At 5,096.27, the index is already beating the average year-end forecast of 4,899.40, a figure it eclipsed just 24 days into 2024. Even the loftiest calls of 5,400 are just another 6% away.

The Big Chase