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The S&P 500 has recovered from its 2009 lows and generated historic returns for investors along the way. This has left some investors worried they've missed the boat. In fact, the economy is still improving, valuations are reasonable (not very cheap, not very expensive) and monetary policy remains extremely accommodative. Taken together, this represents a positive picture for equities, but investors should expect more moderate returns than in the last few years.

Economic Expansions and Recessions
The economy is poised for continued growth
  • Despite a slow start to the year—largely stemming from a stronger U.S. dollar and a decline in investment by oil companies—the U.S. economy is expected to expand at a moderate pace in 2015.
  • This expansion should help earnings growth return to positive territory, as companies benefit from increasing consumer and investment spending.
  • Though profit margins may tighten, they remain quite high among U.S. firms and are unlikely to collapse.
Discussion Slides
Economic growth and the composition of GDP
Corporate profits
S&P 500 valuation measures

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