With the S&P 500 down more than 20% this year, both retail and institutional investors are debating whether the worst is over for stocks.
The answer? Don’t bet the house on it—or at least that’s what Morgan Stanley says.
The investment bank’s strategists, led by Chief Investment Officer Michael J. Wilson, said in a Tuesday research note that the S&P 500 has yet to price in a full-blown economic recession.
Today’s 15.3x price-to-earnings multiple for the S&P 500 could fall to 14x if a recession comes, they said.
While that still isn’t the base case for Morgan Stanley, the investment bank’s economists see a 35% chance of recession by the first half of 2023.
“The market is going to have a really difficult time looking forward until it knows that the risk of recession is extinguished. And we won’t know the answer to that for at least three or four months, is my guess,” Wilson said. “As soon as the recession is obvious, that’ll probably really be the time you want to step in.”