NEW YORK (AP) -- It's forecasting time on Wall Street and once again, the pros are trying to predict the unpredictable.
Wall Street experts think stock prices will rise more than 10 percent next year. Then again, they expected big gains in 2011 and got nearly zero instead.
In typical times, guessing where stocks will end up in a year is difficult. Now, forecasting has become nearly impossible. Big unknowns hang over the market as rarely before, including the European debt crisis.
There's plenty of reason to think stocks will rise fast in the coming year. U.S. companies are generating record profits. Americans are spending more than expected and factories are producing more. The job market finally appears to be healing, too.
The odds of the U.S. slipping into another recession have fallen since the summer, when the economy had slowed.