The year in balance

The US stock market did very well in 2013, up 25% (before dividends) through December 16th, with better results than the overall economy and most other developed markets.  The one big exception is Japan where the market is up almost 47% in Yen terms, though within a percentage point of the S&P 500 when measured in US dollars.

Looking across the US market, growth and value, and all ten sectors, showed results broadly similar to one-another.  Unlike some past years, no single sector or style accounted for the lion’s share of the gain. 

Sector Rank Price ‘Return
Cons Discretionary 1 36.4%
Health Care 2 34.4%
Industrials 3 32.0%
Financials 4 29.1%
InfoTech 5 21.1%
Consumer Staples 6 20.0%
Energy 7 18.1%
Materials 8 16.8%
Utilities 9 7.1%
Telecomm 10 3.9%

Likewise, growth and value came in very close with growth up 25.9% and value up 24.5%.

Where did the balanced growth come from? Largely the Federal Reserve’s QE 1-2-3 policies which provided liquidity, kept interest rates low and boosted asset prices.  This is also the challenge for 2014: whether or not the Fed begins its tapering after tomorrow’s FOMC meeting, or waits until sometime in 2014, some of the underpinning of the market is going away in the new year.

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our disclaimers.

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