The single most important financial measure of the United States, the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 index, closed 2021 less than 1% from its all-time high reached only two days ago, and with a spectacular calendar-year return of 26.9%.
The Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 stock index closed 2021 at 4766.18. The index lost -0.26% from Thursday and gained +0.85% from last Friday. The S&P 500 is up +72.21% from the March 23, 2020, bear market low.
It was the third year of extraordinary gains for the stock market and the second marred by the pandemic.
The calendar year returns on stocks since the end of The Great Recession in March 2009 have been spectacular. The calendar-year returns donâ€™t show the 33.9% drop in stocks in 2020.
Interest rates are at their lowest point in U.S. history. Federal Reserve policy on inflation recently changed and it is causing new financial fears. Tax policy is in the throes of major changes affecting high-income and high net-worth Americans.
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