Since early March 2009, the best answer for equity investors has been
U.S. large caps. In fact, The Standard & Poor’s 500 has returned more
than 300% since the post-financial crisis bottom. Nowadays, however,
that answer is being called into question.
U.S. large-cap stocks have been strong performers so far in 2017.
Through Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up nearly 9% on a
total-return basis. But that number might have a casual market-watcher
wondering, “Really? Only 9%?”
The final few earnings reports are yet to trickle in, but it’s already
clear that U.S. large-cap stocks had a much better first quarter than
the market had anticipated. Prospects for the Standard & Poor’s in
coming quarters are generally seen as positive, though with a couple of
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is near a record high and volatility is
close to a quarter-century low. It’s a combination that would seem
optimal for those who enjoy watching their wealth grow but at the same
time value a good night’s sleep. However, some worry about the quiet.