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Will 2017 be an up year from the US Stock Market?
From looking at a list of predictions by major banks, it would appear that there is a high degree of consensus and a low degree of uncertainty regarding where the US stock market will stand at the end of 2017. The median S&P 500 index prediction from these prognosticators for a year from now is 2,325, with a low estimate of 2,300 and a high estimate of 2,450. These predictions conform to the usual situation in which stock market forecasters are generally bullish and often wrong.
At the close of trading on December 27, 2016, the S&P 500 index (as measured by CME-traded near-month E-mini prices) stood near its all-time high of 2,277 set a few days prior, making it quite likely that the market will finish 2016 solidly in the black. Indeed, during the course of the Obama presidency, Wall Street has had an extraordinary run. After hitting an ominously suggestive intraday low of 666 on March 9th, 2009, a few weeks into Obama's first term, the index has turned in a 340% gain. This performance conforms to the observation that historically, the stock market has done substantially better during Democratic administrations. (Since Herbert Hoover, the average annualized 4-year return during Republican administrations was under 2%, whereas the average annualized 4-year return during Democratic administrations was nearly 11%). This paper from the Federal Reserve emphasizes the ever-salient caution to not conflate correlation with causation.
That said, will the S&P 500, as measured by the last traded price of 2017 of the CME E-Mini March 2018 Futures contract, stand above 2,250 at the close of 2017?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.