What the New Year Brings

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

The stock market has come a longway since the dark days of early March2003, when the Dow hovered around7600. Now, as the Dow knocks at thedoor of 10,000, some physician-investorswonder whether the currentrally has the oomph to continuethrough 2004. According to markethistory, the upbeat market should beable to generate another winning yearbecause 2004 is a US presidential electionyear. Since 1946, the S&P 500 hasaveraged an annual gain of 8.6% inthe fourth year of a presidential cycle,even though 3 of the 14 fourth years inthat period showed market losses. Alsoadding to the rosy outlook for 2004 isthe fiscal stimulus package, which wasalready starting to get traction in thelatter part of 2003, as shown byimprovement in the employment pictureand the national economy as awhole.