From the March 2014 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Can equities stand on their own in 2014?

In 2013, we witnessed one of the most bullish stock market runs of all time with the S&P gaining 29.6% while the Nasdaq 100 gained a whopping 38.3% (see “Equity indexes soar,” below). It was an incredible, but also an abnormal, year. It seemed like the market was higher almost every day. Equities reacted  positively to bad news as well as good news. How can bad economic data be bullish?  It sounds funny but it is really how the market reacted on negative economic data. Bad news meant the possibility of more quantitative easing or a less likelihood of tapering, or the reduction of bond purchasing from the Federal Reserve. As a result, it appeared as though any economic news was interpreted by the markets as bullish U.S. equities: If the economy is bad the Fed will support the market and if the economy is good or better than expected, the market will rally on its own. 

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