US market unlikely to repeat stellar performance

Analysts predict an uneven year with modest gains due to pullback of stimulus

AFTER gorging itself on the biggest annual gains in nearly two decades last year, the US stock market may suffer some indigestion in 2014, analysts say.

In 2013, the broad Standard & Poor's 500 rose about 30 per cent, the highest return since a 31 per cent gain in 1997, the dawn of the last great bull market, which would peak in 2000. Most brokers predict an uneven year and modest gains in 2014 as an uptick in interest rates caused by the gradual pullback of Federal Reserve stimulus slows the bull run.

"Are we going to match this year? That would seem almost impossible," said Joe Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade. "The returns on the S&P 500 were absolutely huge. We can't repeat...

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