Barron’s recently published the first part of its annual roundtable, with ten strategists — including Bill Gross, Mario Gabelli, Abby Joseph Cohen, and Marc Faber — offering their takes on what to expect in 2011.
Overall, the strategists offered a bifurcated view, with most seeing good times for the economy and stock market in the short term, but big problems lingering on the horizon.
Gabelli, for one, says he sees strong earnings ahead for the companies he’s tracking. And he says that institutional investors have shifted so far away from domestic equities that “an air pocket has been created in valuations of high-quality U.S. stocks. There are significant bargains.” He sees the market gaining 5% to 10% in 2011.
Cohen, meanwhile, says she expects GDP to grow by about 3.5% in 2011, with strength in the corporate and consumer arenas. But she says that “much of the unemployment problem in the U.S. is structural, and started well before the financial crisis,” and adds, “you could see the [U.S.] educational deficit building more than 10 years ago.”
Gross says the economy is “falling apart”. He says the Obama administration “has failed miserably” in terms of fostering an environment in which the U.S. creates goods and services that the rest of the world wants. That — not printing money — is the way to fix the economy, he says. He adds that a focus on consumption and fiscal stimulus has created a “sugar high” that will lead to 4% GDP growth this year, but which will fade in 2012.