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Stellar year for stocks; more highs forecast

A trader celebrates 2017 closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP / Getty Images

"The major stock indexes made double-digit gains for the year, led by Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks," per AP Business Writer Alex Veiga.

The takeaway: "By some measures, the market is looking expensive. The S&P 500 is now trading around 18 times forward earnings. That's above the historical average of 16."

  • "Even so, eight years into the bull market, many analysts expect stocks to keep climbing next year.
  • "The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, had its best year since 2013," with a gain of 19%.
  • What it means: "[I]f you invested $1,000 in an S&P 500 index fund at the beginning of the year you'd wind up with about $1,218 at the end of the year."
  • The big reasons: "The global economy rebounded, while the U.S. economy and job market continued to strengthen, which helped drive strong corporate earnings growth.""Investors also drew encouragement from the Trump administration's and Republican-led Congress' push to slash corporate taxes, roll back regulations and enact other pro-business policies."
  • The Dow Jones industrial average gained 25.1%.. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed 28.2%.
  • Indexes also closed up in Britain, Germany, France, Japan and Hong Kong.
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