Nothing like coming in hot to 2015. Mid-December Federal Open Market Committee comments about monetary policy included the word “patient,” which caused a stir akin to that created by Santa on the rooftop. The Leading Economic Indicators for the U.S. came in at +0.6% for November, further solidifying their upward march. Investors of all faiths found peace with this, and the equity markets rocketed upwards like a sleigh with launchers.
Entering the last week of trading for the year, the major areas of the markets rang in joyous annual total return figures. Major indices and exchanges delivered holiday cheer across the board with solid double-digit returns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave investors +11.47%, the Standard & Poors 500 +15.3%, and NASDAQ +15.09%. Sector winners were topped by Utilities and Healthcare, with both posting total return figures over 30% for the year. Other sectors followed suit. The only naughty sector for equity investors was Energy, which lost as much as 10-20% depending on capitalization. The year also saw differentiation by style, as growth orientation outpaced value for 2014 by about 3%.
Now off to celebrate a Happy New Year and a fabulous 2015!
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