- Strong equity return years—like 2019’s near 30%—often followed by good years

- Another double-digit equity return expected, fueled by improving world growth

- Tech, financials, materials, energy and industrial sector stocks should benefit

Raise a glass if you have one handy —get one if you don’t—with just a few trading days left in 2019, the year will likely finish up as one of the best of the decade for U.S. equity investors, with a total return near 30%, as of Dec. 24. This is all the more remarkable since the 2010-2019 decade itself has been a robust one for stocks, too, up 182%, fourth best decade since 1900, according to Bespoke Investment Group data.

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It’s the time of year when some pull out their crystal balls, but we use data here as well as history and good old-fashioned analysis. In 2020, I’m looking for the old bull to continue its yearend move to a nice canter from a leisurely trot, with the stock market rising at least 10%, as the EPS of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SPX) increase about the same percentage or perhaps better. SPX EPS should finish around $163 this year and estimates are for $178 in 2020.

Indeed, while in 2019 the market’s price/earnings multiple carried the ...

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