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Bank of America slashes S&P 500 target, sees stocks falling another 5% by year-end

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Stocks will continue to struggle in the second half of 2022 as the U.S. economy falls into a recession, according to Bank of America. Strategist Savita Subramanian lowered her year-end target on the S & P 500 to 3,600 from 4,500 on Thursday, making her the most bearish among Wall Street strategists at top firms . The target represents a decline of 5.3% for S & P 500 from Wednesday’s closing level of 3,801.78. The index is already down 20% year to date. The major cut comes after Bank of America economists predicted a recession in 2022 on Wednesday. “No two recessions are alike. The market typically leads the economy, peaking before recessions begin and troughing before recessions end. But it occasionally lags (e.g. 1980). Our US Regime Indicator remains in Late Cycle, but has historically shifted to a Downturn phase ahead of US recessions,” Subramanian wrote. “Our derivatives team sees higher downside risks to equities given the historically wide spread between rates and equity volatility, and believes equities are not adequately discounting a recession if we are already in one. Our advice for equity investors: stick with quality and cash flow yield,” she added. Subramanian also said that the index could fall much lower before the end of the year, setting the 3,000-3,200 range as a potential floor for stocks. Bank of America also trimmed its S & P 500 earnings projections. The firm now expects major companies to earn $218 per share in 2022 and $200 per share in 2023. Previously, Bank of America had penciled in earnings of $221 per share and $230 per share, respectively. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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