December is shaping up to be a down month for the market. Even so, the Standard & Poor's 500 index is still on track to post its best annual return in a decade.
The stock market remains up 24.5 percent, despite falling for seven out of nine trading days this month. After such a rapid climb this year some investors are bound to cash out and take profits.
Although a near record number of stocks have participated in the rally, there are an unlucky few that have not. Some 440 stocks in the index are up this year. Since 1980, that's second only to a peak of 458 advancers in 2003, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
But 2013 isn't in the record books yet. Investors will be watching for signals from the Federal Reserve when it meets on Dec. 17-18 to see if it might begin to scale back its monthly bond purchases. Its economic stimulus program has helped fuel the market's rally.Associated Press
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