There's no shortage of concerns for investors, but a recent reprieve in Europe, decent domestic growth (relatively speaking), double-digit stock gains, and a reviving housing market are worth an ounce of appreciation.
Margin pressure, regulatory hurdles and intense competition will test the nation's smallest banks next year, industry experts predict. Those issues could lead to a resurgence of consolidation among community banks.
The recent talk of a fiscal cliff compromise from Republicans and Democrats appear to have dissolved as leaders of both sides leveled pointed criticism at the other for failing to offer a truly balanced plan for taxes and spending cuts. So what's next?