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Calling the near-term future of the markets

By Dian Vujovich

The S&P 500 is up a whopping 15 percent since its low earlier this month. But whether or not that upward trend continues through year-end depends upon whom you ask.

According to Louis Navellier’s Oct. 24 Marketmail email, 91 percent of the 136 stocks that have already reported their earnings in the S&P500 have reported positive earnings. That’s good news. Such good news that same report said analysts estimate figure this year’s third- quarter earnings results will turn out to be 14.7 percent better than those in the third-quarter of 2010.

Top that off with data showing that the last quarter of each year often winds up to be a strong one and many have fingers crossed the same will be the case this year.

But as we all know, this has been no ordinary year. With the horrendous economic problems here and abroad, even Jeane Dixon would probably have a rough time calling how the markets will wind up this year.

If, however, you ask institutional money managers how they see things shaping up in the not-too-distant future, you’ll find a variety of answers, according to results from a recent Northern Trust poll.

Some views include:

• Most believe is S%P500 is undervalued by about 10 percent and 46 percent that emerging market equities are undervalued.

• Most are bullish on both large- and small-cap U.S. equities—although not rip-roaring bulls.

• Most are bearish on conservative fixed-income securities like Treasuries and investment grade bonds.

• Most are bearish about job growth in the coming months.

• Only 20 percent are concerned about inflation.

• And going forward the three sectors they were most bullish about include technology, energy and consumer staples.

And there you have it. Perhaps it’s time to check with Madame Rose and get her read on things.

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