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European stocks are up 7 weeks in a row. Here’s how long winning streaks typically last

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European stock markets rose beyond a key psychological barrier this month and show no signs of stopping. The STOXX Europe 600 hit 500 points for the first time last week, and the benchmark index has since notched yet another all-time high. The records come alongside positive returns for seven consecutive weeks. Yet, investors need not feel nervous from the market euphoria if history is any indication. Stocks could be in for even bigger gains ahead, according to CNBC Pro’s analysis of stock market data starting from 1987. .STOXX 1Y mountain Over the past 37 years, the index has risen seven consecutive weeks on 50 occasions, not including the current run. Of those, stocks rose on 30 instances — or 60% of the time — in the week following the winning streak, notching gains of 1.23% on average. Of course, past performance cannot be used as the sole factor in determining future returns. The odds were typically greater for a positive return a month after a seven-week rally, with stocks rising on 32 occasions and gaining 2.7% on average. When stocks fell immediately after seven weeks of gains, they lost 1.17% on average. A month out, if stocks have lost steam, they average 1.96% in losses. The Stoxx Europe 600 recorded its longest winning streak between June and August 1993, when the market rose for 12 straight weeks. What does Wall Street think? The weighted average of analyst price targets for the companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 points toward a 9.1% upside potential for the index, according to FactSet data. However, some equity strategists caution that growth in European economies is expected to slow, leading to a potential cut in earnings per share (EPS) expectations for large companies. “Our macro projections are consistent with around 15% downside for the Stoxx 600 by Q4, as well as 15% underperformance for European cyclicals versus defensives,” said Bank of America’s European equity strategist Sebastian Raedler. Strategists at Barclays believe stocks will ride high this year. “We expect a higher, yet more sober, equity market in 2024,” said Barclays strategists led by Emmanuel Cau in a note to clients on Jan. 31. “Although disinflation is not linear, activity data is mixed and the pace/timing of rate cuts is up for debate, we think a soft landing remains a plausible scenario, which should ultimately help equities push higher.” The bank has an end-of-year price target of 510 points for the Stoxx Europe 600.

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