It should be another good year for the stock market. Not spectacular, but positive.
Of course, some were more bullish than others, and one was downright bearish.
Gary Flam, a portfolio manager at Bel Air Investment Advisors, had the lowest target for the S&P 500 among the 26 investment professionals in CNNMoney's survey. He expects the index to end 2014 at 1,700, which would translate to a drop of 8% compared with 2013.
On average, the strategists are expecting the S&P 500 to rise 6.5% to 1,968.
Flam acknowledged that the outlook for economic growth has improved and some headwinds have abated. "Yet there are still significant risks that don't justify an above average multiple for the markets," he wrote in his survey response.
On the other end of the spectrum is Joseph Tatusko, Chief Investment Officer at Westport Resources. He expects the S&P 500 to gain nearly 16% this year to 2,143, based on the contention that that stocks "appear reasonably valued."
"Assuming continuing economic expansion and corporate profit growth we think a 10% to 15% return this year is achievable," Tatusko wrote.
We also asked if a price bubble could be forming in some sectors of the market, including biotech/healthcare stocks, small-cap stocks or Bitcoin.
Some acknowledged that healthcare/biotech and small-caps were overvalued, but few were concerned about a bubble.
"Biotech is the one group that is probably closest to a bubble," said Ryan Detrick, an analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "Still, the thing to remember is bubbles can last a lot longer than most think."
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is definitely a bubble ... except maybe it's not.
The vast majority of the strategists who responded to our survey did not offer an opinion on what the digital currency should be worth.
Those who did ranged from zero on the low end, to $1,000 on the high end. But even the most optimistic forecast came with a disclaimer: "Who really knows?"
The problem, some respondents said, is that it's very difficult to come up with a fair value for Bitcoin.
"Its intrinsic value is zero. Its market value is whatever everyone else thinks it's worth to everyone else," said Brian Jacobsen, portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. "It's like a snake eating its tail."
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
The stock market bull is still alive and well in 2014. But he's been bucking a lot more wildly this year.
Where's John Travolta and Debra Winger when you need them? Wall Street traders are the MOREPaul R. La Monica - Mar 18, 2014 12:48 PM ET
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Stocks around the globe rallied on the surprise announcement, which could mark the first baby step toward creating a banking, and ultimately fiscal, union. Of course, there are about a thousand details that need to be hammered out but for now everyone is MORECatherine Tymkiw - Jun 29, 2012 12:58 PM ET
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