The historic stock market recovery that began March 9th continued through the fourth quarter of 2009. For the year, the S&P 500 was up about 26% and the Russell 3000 28%, while our stocks were up approximately 60%. We are pleased to have made up most of the decline experienced during the historic market meltdown of 2007-2008.
Looking ahead, our view is shaped by the feelings one might have exiting a Hollywood science fiction movie where civilization is threatened, mass hysteria ensues, and in the end the villains are thwarted and the heroes live another day. We are back to worrying about mundane matters such as inflation, unemployment levels, the degree of corporate profitability, and the direction of tax policy. In other words, we are back to normal. That, my friends, in view of what we have lived through the last two years, is good news!