Wall Street has issued binders full of 2020 forecasts in recent days, and the consensus is clear: Strategists expect the global economy to remain subdued in 2020, with GDP growth only marginally stronger than in 2019.
Even so, banks are betting that stocks will keep pushing higher. Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks the S&P 500 can hit 3,300, a rise of nearly 7% over Tuesday’s close. Goldman Sachs expects the index to reach 3,400, a 10% jump.
But the predictions rely in large part on a deescalation of the trade war between the United States and China. This is expected to boost investor sentiment and remove a drag on the world economy.
See here: Bank of America sees global GDP growth increasing to 3.2% in 2020, from 3.1% in 2019. That’s based on an assumption that “the US and China will reach a partial trade deal in the next few weeks or months.”
The bank acknowledges that nothing is certain. “While a deal is our base case, we cannot rule out the risk of a breakdown in negotiations,” strategists warned clients. “We still see a wide gap in trust between the two sides.”
Investor insight: US stocks are higher in premarket trading following the Bloomberg report. Yet the VIX, a measure of market volatility, remains elevated — up roughly 30% in the past week. With less then two weeks to go before December 15, when the next round of US tariffs on Chinese goods is set to take effect, the pressure is on.
Google’s co-founders are leaving the C-suite
The shakeup: Page and Brin will step down as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet, the company announced Tuesday. Sundar Pichai, the current Google CEO and a longtime exec, will take over as the top boss of Alphabet in addition to his current role.
The cofounders will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors, my CNN Business colleague Kaya Yurieff reports. They also maintain voting control over the business, which locks in their ability to exert influence, with or without their executive titles.
“We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” they wrote in a letter. “And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President.”
Over to you, Sundar.
On-demand apps get less love from VC firms
Ride hailing and food delivery apps have long been the darlings of the startup world. Now, venture capital firms are taking a step back.
VC funding for so-called “on-demand” companies fell 22% for the 12 months through September, according to an analysis from Goldman Sachs. The slowdown comes after VC firms ploughed $87 billion into such startups between 2014 and 2018.
Meanwhile, funding for other parts of the startup universe is skyrocketing. Goldman points to a 288% rise in VC money for companies involved in automotive lidar, a technology seen as crucial for launching self-driving cars.
Also today →
▸ The ADP private employment report for November arrives at 8:15 a.m. ET.
▸ That’s followed at 10 a.m. ET by the November ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, which tracks the US services sector.
Coming tomorrow: Saudi Aramco prices shares ahead of its IPO. Can it pull off the biggest public market debut ever, and who’s buying the stock?