Some on Wall Street are getting increasingly bullish on the S & P 500 , raising their price targets for the index. Oppenheimer Asset Management was the latest to do so. It increased its year-end S & P 500 price target from 4,400 to 4,900 — the highest in CNBC’s Market Strategist survey . That follows Citi raising its S & P 500 target to 4,600 last week from 4,000. Citi also hiked its mid-2024 target to 5,000 from 4,400. Financial services firm Sanders Morris Harris is even more bullish. Its chairman George Ball told CNBC’s ” Street Signs Asia ” last week that he believes the S & P 500 can go up to 5,000 by year-end. That represents a potential upside of about 9% from Tuesday’s close. The index has already soared about 20% this year. Ball said that forecast is “realistic, not frothy.” He said that the year-to-date gain hasn’t recovered all of last year’s losses, and earnings next year are going to be “quite a bit better than” early projections. “If one looks around, corporate earnings are surprisingly robust. Aside from energy where comparisons with a year ago reflect product price weakness, most service and most manufacturing sectors are doing well, better than predicted,” Ball said last week. “Barring an unforeseen or unforeseeable exogenous shock-war, natural catastrophe, disease, drought-the market will continue to waft upward. That spells 5,000 on the S & P 500,” he concluded. How to position for 5,000 Ball shared how to position for that scenario — and the stocks to buy. Mid-cap tech stocks : Ball said “mid tech is the equity place for tomorrow.” Big tech stocks have contributed to much of the gains this year — although the rally is broadening out — but other well established “but not gigantic” tech stocks have “more premise looking ahead.” “They have more room to grow and are seeking profitability rather than revenue increases,” Ball said. He named three examples: Telehealth company Teladoc , advertising tech firm The Trade Desk , and e-commerce firm MercadoLibre . “All are down 70% or more from the inflated highs of ’21, through up from the lows of ’22. Each has a fundamental business proposition with a great deal of unrealized scale,” Ball said. Energy stocks: The S & P 500 energy subsector has underperformed this year, gaining just 1% to date. But energy stocks look poised for “sneaky gains” for the rest of 2023, said Ball. He likes Enterprise Products Partners , which yields 7.5% and isn’t “directly impacted” by oil prices. Crypto : A small position in bitcoin is “worth a speculators’ chance,” Ball said. Hedge : Advising investors to hedge anyway Ball says the VIX , the volatility index, at 14 is an “excellent safety valve.” The VIX is widely regarded by investors as a gauge of uncertainty in the market. It uses S & P 500 stock index options prices to measure the market’s expectations of near-term volatility.