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Press release from PR Newswire

ING U.S. Investment Management CIOs Forecast 8-10% Rise to S&P 500 in 2013

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ING U.S. Investment Management CIOs Forecast 8-10% Rise to S&P 500 in 201312:01 EST Wednesday, November 14, 2012Positive Year Expected for Emerging Market Equities Senior Bank Loans, High Yield and EM Bonds Favored in Fixed Income Investors Face Possibility of Markets Pricing in Interest Rate Risk Later in 2013NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While U.S. markets may face considerable volatility between now and yearend, there will be modest growth in 2013 and an 8-10% rise in the S&P 500, according to chief investment officers from ING U.S. Investment Management.  The impending "Fiscal Cliff" issue will continue to impact equities this year, but, once that issue is resolved, a less choppy market is expected in 2013, with a yearend target for the S&P of between 1550 and 1600.  The senior investment professionals predict GDP at between 2 to 3%."The U.S. will get past the Fiscal Cliff, and there will be more clarity in the market next year," said Paul Zemsky, Chief Investment Officer of Multi Asset Strategies.  "Domestic equities will benefit from the strengthening in the housing sector as well as from improvements in the labor market.  Meanwhile, Europe may continue to struggle with its economic issues for several months, but may well come out of its recession in the first half of the year."Zemsky said that the U.S. market may favor value stocks, which should be playing catch up after some years of underperformance, and this trend could bode well for the financial sector.  Emerging market equities will be another bright spot next year, he commented, owing to such factors as China's easing of monetary policy, its intentions to boost fiscal stimulus and the expected change in government leadership. "China will not have a hard landing, and this is very helpful for other emerging market countries," said Zemsky.  "A healthy Chinese economy means other emerging market nations should continue to enjoy strong exports, helping to fuel overall growth in emerging market economies."In fixed income, the team prefers high yield and emerging market debt as well as senior bank loans and cautions that a changing interest rate environment later in 2013 may cause volatility.  Christine Hurtsellers, Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income and Proprietary Investments, indicated that, over the next several months, spread sectors will be a good place to earn income as central bank policy remains very accommodative. The higher quality end of the high yield market continues to be well positioned, with resilient fundamentals and low default rates.  Emerging markets are poised to benefit from recent monetary and fiscal accommodation and also present good value and opportunity. Nonetheless, later in 2013, Hurtsellers foresees the prospect of economic growth producing volatility for many fixed income sectors, including the spread sectors and U.S. government securities."The possibility of economic growth persisting next year is very real and could lead to a reduction of the current, ultra-easy monetary policy," Hurtsellers said. "This change could produce volatility as the market prices in the possibility of higher rates not only in U.S. government securities, but also in the spread sectors that have been favored by investors over the last few years."In this changing environment, Hurtsellers notes that senior bank loan investments will be attractive since they are designed to reset their yields to reflect current interest rates.  Commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) and non-agency mortgage securities may also fare particularly well as they benefit from continued improvements in U.S. commercial and residential property markets. About this publicationING U.S. Investment Management periodically publishes market forecasts addressing developing trends in U.S. and international capital markets.  The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the individuals named and do not necessarily reflect the views of ING Group, ING U.S. or ING U.S. Investment Management.About ING U.S.ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING).  In the U.S., the ING U.S. family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning.  ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation.  For more information, visit About ING U.S. Investment ManagementING U.S. Investment Management (ING U.S. IM) is a leading active asset management firm.  As of September 30, 2012, ING U.S. IM manages approximately $179 billion for both affiliated and external institutions as well as individual investors.  ING U.S. IM has the experience and resources to invest responsibly across asset classes, geographies and investment style.  Through our global asset management network, we provide clients with access to domestic, regional and global investment solutions.  For more information, visit contained herein should be construed as (i) an offer to buy any security or (ii) a recommendation as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling any security. Certain of the statements contained herein are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements. These expectations are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, among other things, (i) general economic conditions, in particular economic conditions in ING U.S. IM's core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) interest rate levels, (vii) currency exchange rates (viii) general competitive factors, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, (x) changes in the policies of governments and/or regulatory authorities, (xi) ING U.S. IM's ability to achieve projected operational synergies. ING U.S. IM assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this document.  This information is proprietary and cannot be reproduced or distributed. Certain information may be received from sources ING U.S. Investment Management considers reliable; ING U.S. Investment Management does not represent that such information is accurate or complete. Certain statements contained herein may constitute "projections," "forecasts" and other "forward-looking statements" which do not reflect actual results and are based primarily upon applying retroactively a hypothetical set of assumptions to certain historical financial data. Any opinions, projections, forecasts and forward looking statements presented herein are valid only as of the date of this document and are subject to change. ING U.S. Investment Management is not soliciting or recommending any action based on any information in this document.SOURCE ING U.S. Investment ManagementFor further information: Dana Ripley, ING U.S., +1-770-980-4865, Cell: +1-404-788-9624,