Year-End Summary

Reuters looks at the final numbers:

The Dow declined 0.61 percent in 2005, breaking its streak of back-to-back gains for 2003 and 2004.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose for a third consecutive year, advancing 3 percent — just one-third of its 9 percent gain last year — and its smallest annual gain since 1987.
The tech-laced Nasdaq also climbed for a third straight year, rising 1.37 percent, helped by multi-digit gains in bellwethers including Google Inc., up about 117 percent for the year, and Apple Computer Inc., up about 122 percent for 2005, on a split-adjusted basis.
In Friday’s trading, though, Google ended the regular session down 1.3 percent, or $5.29, at $414.86, while Apple rose 0.6 percent, or 44 cents, to $71.89.
In the broad S&P 500 index, the best-performing sector in 2005 was energy, with a 29.1 percent gain, buoyed by crude oil’s jump to a record price of $70.85 a barrel in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August. The worst-performing S&P 500 sectors were communications, with a 9 percent drop, and consumer discretionary, with a 7.3 percent slide.
“This was not a year for macro-sector bets — whoever bet on sectors, or indexes other than energy, got extremely frustrated,” said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, with $155 billion in assets under management. “This was the year of individual stocks.”

I think Mr. Paulsen has it exactly right. My suspicion is that 2006 will not be a good year for the energy sector. I think certain individual stocks will stand out, but I’m not so certain about sector plays.

Posted by on December 31st, 2005 at 5:07 pm

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