Dec. 31 - 2012 was a great year for stocks with the Nasdaq up 16 percent and S&P 500 gaining more than 13 percent. A look at what investors can expect in 2013. Bobbi Rebell reports.
2012 was a great year for stocks with the Nasdaq the biggest winner of the major indexes. It closed with a yearly gain of about 16 percent. The S&P 500 up more than 13 percent, and the Dow up 7 percent. Here are some thoughts on what to expect in 2013. Bob Brusca of Fact & Opinion Economics: SOUNDBITE: BOB BRUSCA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FACT & OPINION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it will be a pretty good year for markets. I think the stock market will probably have a better than average year, but I think its going to be a difficult first half and a better second half." There's one key sector to watch according to Douglas Blake of Newbridge Securities: SOUNDBITE: DOUGLAS BLAKE, SENIOR WEALTH MANAGER, NEWBRIDGE SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The financials are really the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and therefore the stock market. So 2011 the financials were the worst performing sector of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500. 2012 they were the best so that's interesting. Seeing the financials perk up suggests, and again the market is a forward looking instrument, that the future is bright for the U.S. economy, bright for the financials, and it's an exciting year from that perspective. " But Gary Townsend of Hill Townsend Capital thinks the markets will have a rocky start to the year: SOUNDBITE: GARY TOWNSEND, PRESIDENT AND CEO, HILL TOWNSEND CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Right now, when I look at the markets I see us a bit exhausted at these levels and I'd be surprised given the macroeconomics and the political environment that we don't see some weakness in early 2013. And so I think we could see a drop back to the low 1300s which would be about an 11-percent pullback, and then a high for the year of about 1500." Finally: a reality check for investors heading into 2013. Those who played defense in 2012, investing in bonds or staying in cash were left in the dust by those who took the riskier path and bet on equities which returned double digit gains.