January 2012 Outlook
In 2011, the U.S. economy was able to avoid a double-dip recession, but the year was anything but “dull.” After the Japanese disaster, European debt crisis, worries over a pending recession and numerous political tensions, the S&P 500 index closed the year at 1257.60, virtually unchanged from 1257.64 a year earlier. Despite mildly positive stock returns in the major U.S. indices, almost all other equity investments had negative returns in 2011. Small company U.S. stocks, most developed nations outside of the U.S. as well as many emerging nations suffered losses for the year. Prices on U.S. Treasury bonds went higher and higher despite downgrades of the U.S. Treasury credit rating and little movement on resolving U.S. budget deficits.