Most experts and commentators believed the summer of 2012 would be a replay of 2010 and 2011, punctuated by high volatility and a sharp sell-off. The old saw, “sell in May and go away,” was given wide support. However, since June 1st, the market has caught most mutual funds, hedge funds, and investors completely off guard by advancing 13.2%. Even more impressive is the 27.3% gain over the past twelve months. In reference to the global economy, the U.S. has continued to grow, albeit slowly, with positive signals coming from the housing market. Across the pond, Europe made notable progress in its quest to become a more unified coalition. Meanwhile, China’s economy continues to slow as it suffers the hangover from a credit-fueled boom. Although worries will persist, we expect the U.S. market will continue to surprise investors by finishing strong in 2012. In fact, the S&P 500 is now only 7.6% short of its all-time high in 2007.