Wall Street's top strategists collectively forecast another year of gains for the S&P 500, albeit a much more muted one. That's to be expected after the benchmark index gained more than fifth on a price basis in 2023.
Wall Street's average target on the index gives the S&P 500 implied upside of about 5% from current levels. At the high end, Capital Economics forecasts the benchmark index to hit 5,500 by the end of 2024, giving the S&P 500 implied price upside of about 15% next year. At the low end, JPMorgan Chase expects the index to retreat 12% to 4,200 in 2024.
Passive investors will go along for the ride no matter where it takes them. Stock pickers, on the other hand, seek to beat their benchmarks, and that's where Wall Street's S&P 500 stocks with the most upside come in.
Analysts base their Buy, Hold or Sell recommendations on how they expect a stock to perform relative to the S&P 500 over the next 12 months or so. To do so, they plug numbers into discounted cash flow models. These models spit out price targets, which tell them where the stock should be trading in a year. The difference between the stock's current price and its target is called its implied, or potential, upside. Analysts' average price targets tell you how the Street collectively expects a stock to perform.
While you can hardly base a stock-picking strategy on the sole criterion of price targets, it can be helpful to know which S&P 500 stocks are expected to deliver the biggest returns in the year ahead. To that end, we used S&P Global Market Intelligence to screen the S&P 500 for the index members with the highest implied upside for 2024 and beyond.
Have a look at the table below to see the 10 S&P 500 stocks analysts expect to put up the biggest price gains in 2024. (Price targets and other data are as of December 22.)
|Implied price upside over next 12 months
|Warner Bros. Discovery
|United Airlines Holdings
|Las Vegas Sands
Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.
A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.
Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.
In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.
Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.
Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.
There's A $1,000 Reason to Find Out How Much You're Paying A Year For Streaming
A new study shows we're spending a staggering amount on streaming — and yet, still not as much as cable.
By Jamie Feldman Published
These 8 Disney World Hotels Offer the Most Magical Luxury Experience
While planning your Disney World vacation, consider one of these luxury hotel options.
By Becca van Sambeck Published