JPMorgan’s Bearish Strategist Departs: Key Predictions

Wall Street’s biggest bear, Chief Market Strategist Marko Kolanovic, is leaving JPMorgan Chase & Co. after 19 years with the bank, as reported by Bloomberg News. According to internal memos from JPMorgan, Kolanovic is departing to explore new opportunities.

His exit follows a two-year period of disappointing market calls where he remained bullish as stocks tumbled in 2022, only to turn bearish just as the market started to recover in late 2023.


Claudia Jury and Scott Hamilton, JPMorgan’s global co-heads of sales and research, announced that Hussein Malik, formerly co-head of global research with Kolanovic, will take over as the sole head of global research.

Additionally, Dubravko Lakos-Bujas will become the new chief market strategist, leading the markets strategy group. The fundamental research team will now be co-led by Steve Dulake and Nick Rosato, combining credit and equity research.

Despite Kolanovic maintaining a year-end S&P 500 target of 4,200 for 2024, many of his Wall Street peers have increased their targets to align with the index’s rise. Kolanovic’s target was the lowest among major Wall Street banks, with the next-lowest at 5,200, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

His replacement, Lakos-Bujas, has shown a preference for large-cap growth stocks but has cautioned about the market’s reliance on megacap names.

Kolanovic’s bearish outlook stemmed from concerns about a potential U.S. recession due to high-interest rates and what he viewed as overly optimistic earnings expectations for U.S. stocks, especially in the tech sector. He favored more defensive stocks and increased exposure to commodities like gold.

JPMorgan has not commented on whether Kolanovic’s bearish stance influenced his departure. His exit marks the loss of another bearish voice among professional investors, though some like Peter Berezin of BCA Research and Barry Bannister of Stifel remain cautious about the market’s future.

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