2010 Year-End Screening Review: Across the Board Gains
Compared to the roller-coaster ride the market has been on the last few years, 2010 was a time for the markets and investors to catch their breath.
In this mid-term election year, the economy stood front and center for voters as well as investors. While the economy has managed to string together five consecutive quarters of growth, the erratic nature of the growth has done little to instill confidence in the market. That—combined with unemployment that remains the highest it has been in decades, the specter of future inflation stemming from government stimulus spending and uncertainty as to whether Bush-era tax cuts will expire at the end of the year—gave investors reason to be cautious.
Year-to-date, through December 10, 2010, the S&P 500 index has risen more than 11% (simple price return, excluding dividends). While that’s less than half the increase seen in 2009, it is still well above the index’s historical average capital appreciation of 7.2% between the beginning of 1950 and the end of 2009. Tempering two years of solid gains is the fact that the S&P 500 still is some 20% below its high of October 2007.
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