Which Stock Strategies Did Best? A Mid-Year Performance Review
by John Bajkowski
Midway through 2002, the weakness of the market has helped to create an environment in which negative sentiment dominates the stock markets reaction to news and world events. Factors such as the threat of additional terrorism, heightened international tensions, and the damaged credibility of the accounting profession, corporations and Wall Street itself, override any positive economic news.
With the S&P 500 down over 10% year-to-date, a negative return for the 2002 calendar year would be its third consecutive calendar year of losses—the first such occurrence since 1939 through 1941. The S&P 500 is a popular benchmark for stock market performance, but it only covers the largest companies traded on U.S. exchanges and the performance of other market segments has varied over the last few years. The S&P MidCap 400 measures mid-sized firms, while the S&P SmallCap 600 tracks small-cap companies. Notably, smaller companies, as measured with the S&P SmallCap 600 index, have exhibited positive rates of return over the last three and a half years—relatively good performance after a period of underperformance.
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