The stock market is down year-to-date (barely), but everything sure feels a lot better than this time last year. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 12-months since the S&P 500 hit a low of 667 (March 9th, 2009). Listed below are market comparisons from the close of 2009 to the end of February 2010.
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|Market/Index||Year Close (2009)||Previous Close (02/26/10)||YTD Change|
|Dow Jones Industrial||10,428.05||10,325.26||-0.99%|
|Fed Funds||0.25%||0.25%||0 bps|
|10 yr Treasury (Yield)||3.85%||3.60%||-25 bps|
Last week’s economic reports showed a surprising drop in the consumer confidence index for February, new home sales in January were the worst on record (almost 25 years), existing home sales in January surprisingly dropped for the second straight month, and initial jobless claims for the week of February 20th increased unexpectedly for the second week in a row.
On the positive side, durable goods orders for the month of January had their biggest increase in six months, and the 2009 4th Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) number was revised upward 0.2%. GDP in the 4th Quarter increased 5.9%, which is the best pace since the 3rd Quarter in 2003.
These reports are an example of the economic recovery that we are most likely to see for the foreseeable future – two steps forward, and one step back. However, I expect for the GDP, overall economic growth, and the stock market in 2010 to all be positive.
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John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.chladekwealth.com.