• December 28, 2014

S&P 500 index is close to ‘Perfect 10’

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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 4:30 am

NEW YORK — The stock market is poised for a “Perfect 10.”

As stocks surge this year, putting them on course for their best annual performance in a decade, all 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are closing in on gains of 10 percent or more for 2013.

That hasn’t happened in almost two decades.

The last year that all 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 closed the year higher by 10 percent or more was in 1995, when the overall index rose 31 percent. There have been several years of big yearly gains since, but none that have seen all the sectors notch double-digit jumps.

The S&P 500 gained 26 percent in 1998, but materials and energy stocks fell. The broader index advanced 26 percent in 2003 but phone companies and makers of consumer staples fell short of the 10 percent hurdle.

The reason for the broad gains this year? It’s the first time since the Great Recession that investors are starting to believe that the economic recovery, while tepid, is sustainable, said Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer at Calvert Investments, an investment manager.

The housing market is recovering, hiring has picked up and people are less scared of losing their jobs. That has helped boost consumer confidence and support spending.

“Only 12 months ago, the markets were not convinced that we were in recovery mode,” says Trunow, who notes there were fears the economy could slide back into recession as recently as last summer.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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