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4th Quarter Market Commentary
U.S. equity indices reached new all-time highs throughout the fourth quarter while overseas markets continued to disappoint. The U.S. economic expansion gained momentum while other nations continued to grapple with below average growth rates, suggesting a further decoupling of the world’s economies.
For the quarter, the S&P 500 Index advanced 4.9% while the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies rebounded 9.7%. Consumer discretionary, staples, health-care, and utilities were among the top performing sectors, while energy, telecom, and materials lagged. Across market capitalizations, small-cap stocks outperformed mid- and large-cap stocks. No single investment style emerged as a favorite as value fared best among large- and mid-caps but trailed within small-caps.