It’s been a very good three-year stretch for large-cap stocks. The annual total returns for the S&P 500 index during the 2012-2014 period have been 16.8%, 32.4% and 13.7%. In contrast, the Ibbotson SBBI Classic Yearbook lists the long-term annualized total return for large-cap stocks as being 10.1%.
Not everyone saw those good returns last year. Domestic small-cap stocks lagged and international markets had their own problems. Preliminary data suggests many active managers struggled to keep up. But the headlines focus on large-cap stocks, and last year was the third consecutive good year for the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500.