Even in the face of what many consider sizable headwinds, the markets continued the advance which began in 2009.
How is it even possible for both the stock and bond markets to advance so meaningfully in the face of so much adversity and doom and gloom? Consider the following:
Even with the backdrop of many unresolved problems, the financial markets continued strong performance in 2012. Many of the major domestic stock indexes experienced returns in excess of 10% for the year, with the S&P 500 advancing by 16%.
The equity markets seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief after European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, declared that he was willing to do “whatever it takes” to keep the Eurozone together.
The January to March quarter saw the best three month performance in U.S. stocks since 1998. In fact, the S&P 500 index advanced by nearly 13%, while the Dow advanced almost 9%. (more…)