U. S. stock markets made strong gains in 2013, climbing more than 3000 points since January. The Federal Reserve decision to trim its stimulus as of January, 2014 encouraged investors further. Analysts are all smiles about 2013 but slightly wary of 2014.
The ticker in Times Square tells the story. The runup in investment portfolios during 2013 has been dramatic, and most analysts attribute it to the work of the Federal Reserve. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist, Rockwell Global Capital, says it has been an exciting year."
"Of course the markets have done quite nicely, stocks have enjoyed a nice runup, investment portfolios are at their highest level," he said. "Part of that is due to the fact that the government , the central bank, has been extremely generous. They put a lot of liquidity into the market."
John Allison of Unio Holdings says the Fed reducing stimulus bond buying by $10 billion to $75-billion, may have a negative effect on the stock market.
"The Fed has been a big buyer of mortgages. The Fed has been a big buyer of U.S. bonds, which has put money into the hands of the U.S. government, which then, in turn, spends it in the economy, whether it is individuals, contractors, the defense business or what have you," he said. "That has been the overwhelming reason why there has been a tailwind in the market."
Allison says, "As that happens, I think interest rates will continue going up, and markets have a perverse way of not liking interest rates going up no matter how good the environment. So I see the U.S. as a bit of a mixed bag."
Most analysts agree that people should stay with their investments even if the market goes down and say it is a good time to buy.
Professor Stephen Brown of New York University's Stern School of Business supports the theory of long term investing in the market. He says, "Anyone investing in the markets is investing for longer term, so what happens in the short term nobody can say. But in the longer term, if we believe in America, we believe that this is a reasonable way to invest your money.
The market and most investors do not like uncertainty. The Fed's recent move to trim the stimulus but keep interest rates low is an effort to reduce that uncertainty, support growth in the U.S. economy and give confidence to the rest of the world.