A look back at 2014 thus far.
The year in brief. When 2013 ended, few Wall Street investment strategists had high hopes for the market – the thought was that the S&P 500 would post a single-digit advance for 2014. In fact, a Birinyi & Associates survey of said strategists produced a consensus forecast for a 5.8% gain for the index this year. Well, here we are with 2014 drawing to a close and the S&P has doubled that expectation – on the eve of Thanksgiving, it was up 12% YTD. The U.S. economy looked pretty good in comparison to many others this year, and Wall Street outpaced quite a few of the overseas markets. The dollar strengthened, which hurt the broad commodities market. The housing sector (inevitably) cooled off, but sales were still up year-over-year. Investors ended up worrying more about the Ebola virus than the end of the economic stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve.1,2