One of the biggest bears on Wall Street has toned down his snarl.
Richard Bernstein, chief U.S. strategist for Merrill Lynch & Co., told clients Tuesday that he had raised his 12-month forecast on the blue-chip Standard & Poor's 500 index to 1,010 from 890.
If he's right, the S&P still would decline about 10% this year from Tuesday's close of 1,123.67. But his previous forecast called for a 21% drop.
Bernstein said he was raising his target because of an improvement in the valuation, technical and sentiment models he uses to predict market returns.