(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.) (Refiles to fix formatting.)
By Antony Currie
NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hitting up a
roomful of the best U.S. mutual fund managers for market
predictions after a couple of hours of cocktails seems to have
some merit. Attendees at last year's Lipper Fund Awards ceremony
did pretty well in an after-dinner survey conducted by
Breakingviews. This year, the 247 industry champs and their
cohorts will be hoping to follow suit.
For one, they're more optimistic about the stock market.
Last year, three-fifths nearly pegged where the Dow Jones
industrial average would end 2012 - around 13,000, roughly where
it was when they voted. This time, a similar amount - 63 percent
- is convinced the S&P 500 Index will close above 1,750, about
13 percent higher than where it is today after a 10 percent jump
already this year.
Rather surprisingly, 65 percent reckon the 10-year U.S.
Treasury yield will tumble back below 2 percent. That's despite
growing market skepticism the Federal Reserve's policy of buying
government and mortgage agency bonds is having much effect on
interest rates and may also be scaled back. Given their correct
call last year, though, it's hard to discount the money
The gathered investors sound bearish on Apple (AAPL.O).
Nearly three out of five expect Google (GOOG.O) to be worth more
at the end of 2013. The market value of the iPhone maker is $147
billion bigger, so unless the internet search giant's stock can
muster at least a 55 percent gain, the prognosis includes a
further dip for Apple.
On a relative basis, they're also concerned about the fate
of Morgan Stanley (MS.N) Chief Executive James Gorman. Almost
half picked him as the bank boss most likely not to succeed.
Come December, they reckon he's more apt to be out of a job than
Bank of America's (BAC.N) Brian Moynihan or JPMorgan's (JPM.N)
Corporate governance activists can take some comfort from
the poll results, too. A strong 72 percent of the crowd favored
companies splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive
between two people. If only they could muster the same numbers
on proxy votes as straw polls.
SIGN UP FOR BREAKINGVIEWS EMAIL ALERTS:
- The following are the results of a Breakingviews straw
poll of 247 U.S. stock and bond mutual fund managers at the
Lipper Fund Awards on March 14 in New York. Both Breakingviews
and Lipper are owned by Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO)(TRI.N).
- Which company will be worth more at the end of the year?
Apple – 43 percent
Google – 57 percent
- What will 10-year Treasuries yield at the end of the year?
Above 3 percent – 35 percent
Below 2 percent – 65 percent
- Where will the S&P 500 close at the end of the year?
Below 1,450 – 37 percent
Above 1,750 – 63 percent
- Will Washington reach a long-term agreement on budgets?
Yes – 16 percent
No – 84 percent
- Who is more likely to be CEO no more by the end of
Bank of America's Brian Moynihan – 34 percent
Morgan Stanley's James Gorman – 48 percent
JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon – 18 percent
- Should the roles of chairman and chief executive be held
by two different people?
Yes – 72 percent
No – 28 percent
- Will Angela Merkel be re-elected as Germany's chancellor?
Yes – 84 percent
No – 16 percent
Survey says [ID:nL2E8E9AHB]
- For previous columns by the author, Reuters customers can
click on [CURRIE/]
(Editing by Jeffrey Goldfarb and Martin Langfield)
Keywords: BREAKINGVIEWS FUNDS/SURVEY
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