For all the sturm und drang of what is now a fifth year of planetary economic malaise, U.S. stocks are so far pulling in a solid 2012, danke.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 9 percent this year, through Thursday. Since its March 2009 cratering, the benchmark has more than doubled. The tech-centric Nasdaq is up 15 percent. S&P 500 earnings, which have beaten projections for three years, are on the brink of crossing $100 a share for the first time in 2012 and are forecast to jump another 13 percent next year. The market’s actually on pace to have itself a sanguine election-year pop.