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Wall Street just gave its highest year-end forecast yet for the S&P 500

Wall Street has a new high water mark for the S&P 500 (^GSPC).

Oppenheimer chief investment strategist John Stoltzfus now sees the benchmark index ending the year at 5,500, reflecting a roughly 5% increase from Friday's close. The call comes after a surge in stocks pushed the benchmark index past his initial target of 5,200 less than three months into the year.

Stoltzfus entered the year looking for one or two interest rate cuts, and to him, little has changed in that storyline since December, as the Federal Reserve recently projected three interest rate cuts this year with a bias leaning toward the possibility of two cuts. He noted positive signs in earnings over the last several quarters, resilience in US economic growth, and a "capitulation" among the bearish community all support his upgrade to the S&P 500's performance.

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"All of the above prompts us to increase our year-end price target acknowledging the possibility that we might need to raise the target price again later this year should this economic and market outlook prove us too conservative in our projections," Stoltzfus wrote.

Other analysts have recently raised their targets for the benchmark index. Earlier this month, Bank of America predicted the S&P would end the year at 5,400, matching a previous call from UBS.

While stocks' run higher has raised questions of whether the market is in a bubble, strategists have countered that the underlying dynamics of the current rally don't indicate this is the case so far.

"We’re not saying that there [are] not some fast players on the move in the day-to-day and week-to-week action or deny that some froth exists in some corners of the market but rather that the hot market stuff thus far looks to have been offset by a broadening of the current rally across sectors, styles, and market capitalizations," Stoltzfus said.

FILE PHOTO: The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, on Jan. 16, 2019. (REUTERS / Reuters)

Josh Schafer is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on X @_joshschafer.

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