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2011 - So far so good

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This year continues on the path of solid gains, but it has certainly not been a smooth ride.
Stocks and bonds have had to steer clear of geopolitical risks, budget issues, natural disasters and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.
In spite of these issues we have been able to generate positive returns.
Stocks enjoyed their best first quarter in 15 years, but, the question is, will we be able to continue on this pace the rest of the year?
Bonds hit some speed bumps in the first quarter, but low to middle single digit gains still looks possible. In any market, there are always opportunities, you just need to know where to look for them.
It’s been two years since the S&P 500 hit a low of 677. Since then the market is up approximately 100 percent on a total return basis.
There have been many hurdles to overcome. State and municipal budget battles, renewed European debt concerns, rising energy prices and unrest in the Middle East.
On the positive side, corporate earnings continue to be strong and unemployment numbers are slowly moving in the right direction as more large and small companies look to increase their workforces.
Energy and industrial stocks have lead the way so far this year as well as strength in the technology sector.


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