While it is true that on the last trading day of 2014, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both lost nearly one percent of its value. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1 percent to 2,058.90 at 4 p.m. It finished the year with an 11 percent gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 160 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,823.07. Equity markets will be shut tomorrow for the New Year’s Day holiday, reported Bloomberg today. However, 2014 was a very good year for the stock market indexes across-the-board.
S&P 500 closed at a record on Dec. 29 for the 53rd time this year as $1.1 trillion was added to American share values, said Bloomberg. The indexes all rose to all-time highs this month as the Fed pledged patience on the timing of interest-rate increases, the world’s largest economy expanded at the fastest pace in more than a decade. That included job growth, GDP growth and skyrocketing consumer confidence.
The biggest gainers for the year were utility stocks, which gained 24 percent as low interest rates kept dividend yields averaging 3.3 percent competitive. Health-care companies also posted big gains with help from the Affordable Care Act and brisk business on the health insurance exchanges. The health-care companies posted the second-biggest advance at 23 percent, saw about four times as much market value created due to their larger weighting, said Bloomberg.
Technology companies had some of the biggest gains in the Dow this year, with Intel Corp. rising 40 percent and Microsoft Corp. jumping 24 percent. Consumer shares such as Home Depot Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Nike Inc. also rose at least 22 percent to lead the 30-stock gauge’s advance.
U.S. stocks will extend their bull market into a seventh year, according to Laszlo Birinyi, whose favorable stock calls since 2009 have mostly come true. The “Obama stock market rally” continued its long run. The “Obama Stock Market” continued as the Dow and the S&P 500 have taken its meteoric rise over the past years. On President Obama’s first inauguration day on Jan. 20, 2009, the DJIA was sitting at 7,949.09. It then bottomed on March 9, 2009 at 6,547.05, which at the time was its lowest level since 1997. It has not looked back since, surpassing 18,000 on the Dow and 2,100 on the S&P 500.
Jeremy Siegel, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, is bullish about the stock market rally. Siegel is known as once of the most “bullish” experts on Wall Street. He even held out the possibility of a 20,000 Dow, saying that is not out of the question as he assesses the outlook for U.S. stocks, global financial markets and investment strategy. He told CBNC this morning the climb to 20,000 will not be as easy as the climb to 18,000. Siegel believes it will happen. Siegel believes interest will remain lower.
“I think we’re going to see Fed funds long run maybe 2 percent instead of 4 percent, and that lower interest rate is going to feed people to move into stocks,” Siegel said on CNBC.