Tom Lee raises his S&P 500 price target, saying market is 'comfortable with this earnings recession'

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Thomas Lee, Fundstrat Global Partners

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

The S&P 500 will rise an additional 7% by the end of the year, longtime Wall Street bull Tom Lee predicted Friday.

In a note to clients, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors raised his S&P 500 year-end target to 3,125 from 2,925, which represents a 7% gain from Thursday’s 2,917 close. As of Thursday, the S&P 500 has risen more than 17% this year.

Lee said his new year-end target for the S&P reflects the first-quarter earnings “recession,” which he said so far has not been as bad as feared. He also argued Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell‘s comments at the conclusion of this week’s two-day policy meeting didn’t spook the market as much as they have in the past. Powell hinted that a rate cut may not be on the horizon, which initially disappointed traders.

“The market is comfortable with this earnings recession, and the Fed has proved its message is much more market-friendly,” Lee said in an interview with CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report. ” “Investors should still commit to buy these dips.”

U.S. stocks were trading higher Friday after a report from the Labor Department showed U.S. job creation was stronger than expected in April.

The market had been under serious pressure since early October in part on concerns about a trade war and the aggressiveness of the Fed’s rate-hike policy. Stocks in December plunged in their worst Christmas Eve trading ever, with the S&P 500 sinking 2.7% and slipping into a bear market, defined as a decline in an index or asset of 20% or more from recent highs.

Since the Dec. 24 close, however, the S&P 500 has rallied 24% through Thursday’s close.

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