Wien Still Sees Big Gains For US Markets This Year

Blackstone’s Byron Wien says stocks are still on track for a strong year, though he thinks the short term weakness may not be over.

“What I thought at the beginning of the year was we would have a decline,” Wien tells CNBC. “We did, 5 or 6 percent. I thought it might be even more than that…. I’m not altogether sure it’s over, but I do think the year is going to be a good year.”

Wien sees 3% growth for the US economy, continued share buybacks, and improving corporate profits, all of which make him think the market could rise 20% in 2014. One country he thinks won’t fare as well: Japan. The Nikkei index could fall 20% this year, he said, courtesy of an aging population, a peak in its workforce, and its being a “high-cost producer in a low-cost area.” “My feeling is that Japan has problems that are peculiar to that country alone,” he said.

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