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2015 stock market: 10% higher but plenty of volatility

Volatility reared its ugly head as investors began the first full trading week of the year. The CBOE (CBOE)Volatility Index (^VIX) surged 12% nearing the 20 level as the Dow Industrials (^DJI)  shed 331.34 points or 1.8%, while the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) also fell 1.8%.

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Although one trading session does not make a trend, Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group, says investors should brace for more days like Monday. “That will be one of the primary themes of 2015, heightened volatility.”  That’s because there are a lot more wildcards for investors than there were in 2014. “There are so many data points that are going to drive volatility and disrupt the positive and almost complacent tone that we saw in the first half of 2014.”  

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Topping his list; the stronger dollar and a weaker euro, Japan’s recession, slowing economic growth in China and the looming threat that Greece will defect from the Euro zone.

Despite the blanket of global uncertainty, Kenny says investors can take comfort in his view that U.S. stocks will likely record a seventh year of consecutive gains. “I do think the markets continue to move higher by the end of the year.” Driving those gains; earnings and a healthy U.S. economy. “I am looking for roughly a 10% move to the upside.” 

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