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UBS cuts S&P 500 price target for 2022, says earnings estimates could go down even more

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UBS cut its price target for the S & P 500 and expects earnings estimates could decline further from here — the latest possible indicator of an impending slowdown. The investment bank cited prolonged higher inflation and rising yields as the reason for cutting the price target and EPS forecast for the broader market index. UBS cut the S & P 500 price target to 4,150 in 2022, and 4,400 in 2023, based on revised real and nominal 10-year yield forecasts. Those estimates are down from 4,850 and 5,000, respectively. “We believe there is modest upside for equities given our assumptions of slowing growth but no recession as well as decelerating inflation,” UBS strategist Keith Parker said in the note. “Falling bond volatility is a necessary pre-condition for a sustainable bottoming in stocks.” The revised estimates come as the broader market index remains about 19% off its highs, and as Wall Street looks ahead this month to what many expect will be a volatile earnings season. Investors expect earnings estimates will come down as many companies work through greater inflationary pressures. UBS also trimmed its earnings forecasts based on a slowing gross domestic product growth rate and rising costs, though the investment bank believes revenue and margins will get a boost in the near term from strong nominal growth. UBS lowered its EPS forecast to $234 in 2022, and $247 in 2023. Those forecasts are down from $235.5 and $250 previously. “We tweak our earnings forecasts lower as some variables have shifted, with risks to the downside for earnings estimates this year and more so next year,” the note read. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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