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4th Quarter Update: A Year to Remember (January 11th,
The U.S. stock market punctuated an
extraordinary year with gains on the last trading
day, moving many of the American indexes to record
highs as of year end. Despite the many uncertainties
we faced in 2013 - the government shutdown, Boston
bombings, the ongoing Syrian uprisings, debt ceiling
debates, NSA revelations, the lingering economic
aftershocks of superstorm Sandy, a nuclear standoff
with Iran, and the economic effects of the Affordable
Care Act, equity investors will look back at 2013 as
one of the most profitable years for investors on
record. Perhaps making the year even sweeter was that
September 15th marked the fifth anniversary of the
Lehman bankruptcy in 2008, which of course opened a
Pandora's box of economic woes to follow, the
likes of which not many of us had previously seen.
Large cap US stocks as measured by the S&P 500
gained 30% in 2013, and small company stocks, as
measured by the Russell 2000 index, gained 39%. By
any measure, these returns were remarkable. The
S&P gains were the highest since 1997, and the
3rd highest since 1970. Making the year even more
remarkable was that nearly no one had predicted a
raging bull in 2013, and many economists and pundits
didn't think returns like these would be
If anything, the five-year market gains since the
Lehman bankruptcy have been even more extraordinary.
continue reading . . .
For a comprehensive quarterly dataset on market
performance and valuations, here is JPMorgan's
-- 70-some pages of market valuation and performance
information that's hard to beat, and which is
made available to advisors for client use.