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Market Databank


1st Quarter 2014


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1Q2014 marked the bull market’s fifth anniversary. From the S&P 500’s intraday low of 666 on March 9, 2009, stocks are just 7% short of tripling. It spawned headlines questioning how much longer it can last. Only three of the 23 bull markets since 1900 have lasted six years.


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The S&P 500 gained 1.3% in the first quarter of 2014, despite January’s 5.8% correction that came with the Fed’s move to taper QE. For the year ended March 31, 2014, the S&P 500 gained 19.3%. The stock market hasn’t experienced even a 10% correction in three years.

 


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Among global stock markets, for the first time in years, the Eurozone index led, with a first quarter gain of 2.8% compared to the S&P 500’s 1.3% gain; whereas Asia Pacific and China trailed the U.S. with losses of 2.8% and 5.7%, respectively.

Within the U.S. market, mid-caps stood out, with a first quarter gain of 2.7%, beating the S&P 500 which is heavily weighted toward large-caps. Small-caps, meanwhile, trailed the S&P 500 with a gain of less than 1%.


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Among the S&P 500’s 10 sectors, first quarter 2014 returns showed utilities in first place with a gain of 9.0%, vs. consumer discretionary stocks in last place with a loss of 3.2%. Utilities’ strong showing came as a big surprise, as the consensus among Wall Street strategists is for the sector to do poorly this year with the expected rise in bond yields.


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That same comparison among a broad range of asset classes over the one-year period ended March 31, 2014, shows the S&P 500 and master limited partnerships (MLPs) leading with gains of 21.9% and 11.2%, respectively, while Gold lost 20.0% and Bonds lost 3.5%.

 


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1 Estimated 2014 and 2015 bottom-up S&P 500 earnings per share as of March 27, 2014: for 2014, $118.98; for 2015, $132.59. Sources: Yardeni Research, Inc. and Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey of consensus estimates. Standard and Poor’s for index price data through March 31, 2014; and actual earnings data through December 2013.

 

  

Past performance does not indicate future results. ± Indices and ETFs representing asset classes are unmanaged and not recommendations for any specific investment. Foreign investing involves special risks, including political or economic instability and currency fluctuation. Bonds offer a fixed rate of return while stocks fluctuate. ¥ Estimated bottom-up S&P 500 earnings per share as of March 27, 2014 was $118.98 for 2014 and $132.59 for 2015. Sources: Yardeni Re-search, Inc. and Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey of consensus estimates. Standard and Poor’s for index price data through March 30, 2014; and actual earnings data through December 31, 2013.

 



4th Quarter 2013
3rd Quarter 2013
2nd Quarter 2013
1st Quarter 2013
4th Quarter 2012

This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Clark Planning & Investment Advisory and is not intended as legal or investment advice.
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