Make it two in a row for the former stockbroker who is now a business professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

For the second straight year, George Morgan has won the annual Omaha World-Herald equity challenge, having made the most accurate forecast for the 2017 closing of the Standard & Poor’s 500, beating out a slate of competitors that includes the area’s top money managers and wealth advisers.

Before 2017 started, Morgan forecast to The World-Herald (in a standard questionnaire the newspaper uses for all respondents queried for the predictions) the S&P would close 2017 at 2,610. That was within 64 points of the actual closing of 2,674, and the most bullish year-end prediction among the 10 respondents. Morgan’s nearest rivals for the top spot missed the S&P’s 2017 close by almost 200 points.

For 2018, Morgan expects another banner year for U.S. stocks. He predicts the S&P will rise 16 percent from its 2017 close to finish 2018 at 3,105. Morgan’s is again the highest forecast among the eight respondents, who are either experienced college finance professors or portfolio managers or research directors at area wealth managers. Three other respondents predict the index will rise by more than 10 percent, while two others expect around 3 percent or worse.

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