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Investing Specialists

Readers' 2015 Market Forecast: Modest Gains, More Volatility

Price of oil, interest rates, and global developments seen as key themes for the year.

Any time you ask investors to predict how the market will perform in the coming year, you are likely to get responses that fall roughly into one of three camps: those who expect an overall positive year for stocks, those who expect stocks to lose ground, and those who think the question itself is an exercise in futility.

But regardless of what one predicts, or what one thinks about the wisdom of making predictions, asking investors how they feel about the coming year can be useful as a gauge of investor sentiment. We asked readers on our Market Insights discussion board to look into their crystal balls and tell us what they see for the stock and bond markets in the coming year. Some offered specific predictions while others were less willing to be pinned down to specific numbers. As might be expected, many posters homed in on factors that are currently affecting the markets, including the recent plunge in oil prices, deflation concerns in Europe, and ongoing speculation about if and when the Fed will raise interest rates. Others pointed out that unknowable events of one kind or another--natural disasters, political unrest, and the like--are sure to play a role as well.

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