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Goldman Sachs trading booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

August's weak reading for the U.S. Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index has analysts at Goldman Sachs bullish on "an opportunity for equity investors."

What it means: Goldman Sachs is expecting the S&P to end the year at 3100, up a little more than 4% from its current level, and to finish 2020 at 3400, meaning another year of meaningful gains.

  • "Our economists expect that a US recession is unlikely during the next 2 years," analysts from Goldman's portfolio strategy research team said in a weekend note to clients.
  • "They highlight the lack of economic imbalances and believe that elevated consumer spending and a smaller drag from inventory accumulation should boost economic growth through the end of 2019 and 2020," the team said.

Details: The ISM manufacturing index fell to 49.1 in August, its lowest reading since January 2016, helping send markets significantly lower on the day.

  • But Goldman argues the index has been "an inconsistent predictor of US recessions during the past 40 years."
  • "In 6 of 11 instances since 1975 a recession did not occur despite the fact that the ISM fell below 50. ... During previous episodes when the US economy did not enter a recession despite ISM readings below 50, the S&P 500 typically rose in the subsequent six months (+6%) and 12 months (+22%)," per Goldman.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.