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What Investors Were Researching in January

Investors continued to be interested in Apple and income as the stock market posted solid performance to start off 2013.

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January was good to investors. The S&P 500 tacked on more than 5% during the month as it reclaimed the 1,500 level for the first time since 2007. The broad-based large-cap index is now within spitting distance of its all-time high.

Why the enthusiasm? First off, there was some relief that the so-called fiscal cliff was finally dealt with and the debt ceiling came off the table as a negotiating point (for now) among policymakers. Earnings reports have been far from spectacular. But firms are generally meeting expectations, and outlooks for 2013 have mostly remained intact. Overseas, there was evidence that China's growth was beginning to accelerate. Europe's crisis remained dormant as the core countries of the eurozone continued to slog along. And the Bank of Japan committed to a 2% inflation target in an effort to stimulate the economy. 

Jeremy Glaser has a position in the following securities mentioned above: MSFT. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.