Market indexes are up this year, and many people believe they'll continue to move skyward. Since the beginning of 2013, the Standard & Poor's 500 index is up more than 18 percent, Bloomberg reports. As of Monday morning, the index stood at 1,663.51.
Nearly 8 in 10 respondents to a new survey from Fidelity Investments believe the S&P 500 will either maintain the current level or move up about 100 points to at least 1,758 by the end of the year.
That's in line with the forecast released by a Deutsche Bank analyst last week, predicting that the index will end the year at 1,750, according to a report Wednesday on the website MarketWatch.
That's not too far away from the high the S&P 500 hit in the beginning of August, when it rose to 1709.67. It may not be smooth sailing for markets through the fall months, though. While markets have digested the news that the Federal Reserve will eventually slow down the level of stimulus being pumped into the economy, the actual announcement of tapering is sure to cause a little bit of volatility in stocks.
And then there's a debt ceiling debate currently revving up. If there's one thing we know from past years, the stock market can weather some debate and uncertainty over fiscal policy, but too much makes investors nervous. In 2011, the threat of government shutdown and the credit downgrade to the U.S. government by Standard & Poor's sent the S&P 500 on a downward spiral between July 1 and Oct. 3. The index fell 17.9 percent before recovering.
Which way do you think the winds are blowing?
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Senior investing reporter Sheyna Steiner is a co-author of "Future Millionaires' Guidebook," an e-book written by Bankrate editors and reporters. It's available at all the major e-book retailers.