FOLLOWING THE MONEY

Physician's Money Digest, August15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 15

Highlight:

What a quarter! The S&P 500gained 14.9%, its best showingsince the fourth quarter of 1998;the Dow was up 12.4%; and theaverage stock mutual fund gainedabout 17.5%. What drove the stockmarket to its best quarter in 41/2years? Earnings, eitherreal or anticipated. There wereother bright spots in the economy,including a rebound in consumerconfidence, interest rates at the lowestthey've been in several decades,and an upward revision in grossdomestic product numbers for thefirst quarter. Ultimately, however,what moves stocks up are earnings,and analysts' projections on corporateearnings are now calling fordouble-digit increases through therest of this year and all of 2004.