September may have a bad reputation for stocks, but one top strategist just hiked his S&P 500 year-end target anyway

Finance news

September may historically be a rough month for stocks, but it didn’t stop National Securities’ Art Hogan from hiking his S&P 500 year-end target by 7%.

He made the bullish move based on a strong second quarter earnings season and the notion Covid-19 delta variant cases are likely peaking.

“September gives us a chance to reboot,” the firm’s chief market strategist told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Tuesday. “I actually think we see a pick-up in economic activity in September, and I think that will ward off some of that negative sentiment that we typically get at or about the September month.”

Hogan, who oversees $34 billion in assets, hiked his S&P 500 target to 4,700 from 4,400 on the month’s first trading day. On Tuesday, the index fell 15 points to close at 4,520. It’s still just a fraction of a percent away from its all-time high.

“This has been one of those years where earnings and earnings expectations continue to grow, and that’s where we’re getting that higher target from,” said Hogan.

He believes September will buck the historical negative trends due to the robust economic recovery driven by unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies. Plus, Hogan’s hunch is delta cases will peak and spark more enthusiasm for stocks.

Despite seasonal headwinds and the risk backdrop, Hogan is sticking to the game plan he has employed during the pandemic. He sees equal exposure to growth and cyclical stocks as the best way to play the rapid rotations in the market.

“Have growth on one end of a barbell and you can express opinions in things like cloud security, 5G [and] cloud computing,” Hogan said. “On the other side of that, you want to be invested in things like financials, industrials and materials for their economic sensitivity and cyclicality.”