January 1, 2011
On December 31st the U.S. stock market and most foreign markets notched their second consecutive year of gains since they bottomed in March 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. The S&P 500 Index advanced 12.8% while overseas the majority of markets were up with the only two significant sore spots being Japan and China. Japan’s Nikkei lost 3% while China’s Shanghai Composite lost 14%. Yields on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note fell from 3.83% on January 1, 2010 to close at 3.3% on December 31st. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep rates accommodative throughout the year were successful.