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Time for market panic? Depends who you ask...

April 8, 2014: 8:38 AM ET

Strategists tell CNNMoney that stocks are headed higher.

It should be another good year for the stock market. Not spectacular, but positive.

That's the general consensus among the investment strategists CNNMoney polled in a recent survey. See the full results here.

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.

Related: 3 cheap stock buyback plays

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."

Biotech reckoning?

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.

Related: Is the party over for small caps?

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."

  • Markets shrug off China stimulus

    Worrying economic data out of China had raised expectations in recent weeks that Beijing would respond with stimulus measures in an effort to stabilize growth.

    The State Council obliged late Wednesday, announcing a slate of new measures including railway and urban redevelopment projects, along with a tax break for small businesses.

    Market reaction on Thursday was muted. After an initial boost, the Shanghai Composite ended the day in negative territory. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little changed.

    There are MORE

    - Apr 2, 2014 11:16 PM ET
    Posted in: , ,
  • Investors spooked by China slowdown

    Investors spooked by a slowing Chinese economy last week pulled $1.5 billion out of Chinese equity funds tracked by EPFR Global -- the largest amount ever for this time of year.

    The Boston-based fund tracker attributed the decline to worries over the Chinese government's ability to shore up the economy and implement promised reforms without triggering a dramatic deceleration.

    China's top leaders have pledged financial reforms that would give market forces more influence MORE

    - Mar 24, 2014 2:37 AM ET
  • Morningstar worried about Pimco corporate culture

    Pimco's corporate culture has suffered since the giant bond fund lost one of its top leaders, according to a report issued Tuesday.

    Morningstar, an influential investment research firm in Chicago, said that the resignation of CEO Mohamed El-Erian in January raised "a higher degree of uncertainty" about the world's largest bond manager.

    Morningstar did not change the ratings on any of Pimco's funds though. Morningstar rates funds via stars and they are MORE

    - Mar 18, 2014 3:44 PM ET
  • Riding momentum isn't a sin

    This article was published in the December issue of Money magazine.

    By Paul R. La Monica

    Buy low and sell high may be the first rule of investing, but that doesn't mean you should invest only in poorly performing shares while ignoring stocks on a roll.

    If this year's market has taught you anything, it's that stocks that go up can keep climbing higher. In fact, history shows investing in the prior year's top-returning groups MORE

    Dec 18, 2013 7:59 AM ET
  • Tesla tries for new highs

    Tesla shares (TSLA) made a run at record highs early Friday in a burst of optimism following an upgrade by Deutsche Bank.

    But the stock struggled to hold the $130 level as the morning wore on, sparking a debate on StockTwits over how much the electric car maker is worth.

    The sky's the limit, say the bulls.

    $TSLA so the only question is... all time high before of after lunch? MORE

    - Jul 26, 2013 12:14 PM ET
  • Travel stocks take off

    Investors caught a case of the travel bug Thursday after a blowout quarter from TripAdvisor lifted shares of other online travel companies.

    Shares of TripAdvisor (TRIP) surged 16% after the company said late Wednesday that earnings and revenue jumped in the second quarter, blowing past analysts' estimates.

    Some traders on StockTwits are hoping the trend will continue when Expedia reports quarterly results after the closing bell Thursday.

    $EXPE ... I MORE

    - Jul 25, 2013 12:29 PM ET
  • McDonald's: Investors not loving it

    You know times must be tough when McDonald's says consumers are struggling. But are diners really too stretched for the Dollar Menu, or is there something else going on?

    The fast food giant said Monday that global sales and earnings rose in the second quarter, though profits fell short of analysts' expectations.

    McDonald's warned that sales will be "relatively flat" in July and that results will be "challenged" in the second half MORE

    - Jul 22, 2013 2:12 PM ET
  • Gold bugs regain some swagger

    After enduring a brutal sell-off this year, gold bugs appear to be making a stand.

    Gold prices rose 1% to $1,246.90 an ounce Tuesday after earlier making a run at $1,260.

    Of course, gold is still down more than 33% from the all-time highs near $1,900 in September 2011.

    But Tuesday's rebound raised hopes on StockTwits that the worst is over for the yellow metal.

    $NUGT fighting and winning some ground MORE

    - Jul 9, 2013 1:02 PM ET
  • Gold plunges to 2-1/2 year low post Bernanke

    Gold prices were hit hard in the global market rout that followed Ben Bernanke's latest press conference.

    Gold futures fell 6.4% to settle at $1,285.9 an ounce -- its lowest level since September 2010.

    The drop extended an ongoing sell-off in the precious metal as investors prepare for an end of the Federal Reserve's stimulus policies, which Bernanke said could begin later this year and culminate in 2014.

    Of course, he also said MORE

    - Jun 20, 2013 2:53 PM ET
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