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Local advisers underestimated market vigor this year

The stock market turned out a little better than The Buffalo News’ panel of local investment advisers expected this year.

Despite fears that the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates and put a damper on what they viewed as a fairly valued stock market heading into 2014, stocks continued to post moderate gains as profits grew and energy prices plunged late in the year.

The advisers had predicted that 2014 would be a slightly below-average year, with the Dow rising by 5.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite index gaining 6.7 percent. As it turns out, 2014 is shaping up as a slightly better-than-average year. With less than a week less in the year, the Dow is up 8 percent, while the Nasdaq has posted a 14 percent gain.

Bruce Kaz, the president of Courier Capital Corp., is in line to claim the prize for the best market forecast, with his prediction that the Dow would rise by 10 percent and the Nasdaq would jump by 13 percent. He shared the honors for the best Dow prediction with Tim Johnston, the managing partner at Sandhill Investment Management.

The panel’s individual stock picks didn’t fare as well, with the average portfolio of five stocks losing 1.4 percent of its value during an up market.

Kaz completed his near-sweep of the 2014 honors by capturing the crown as the panel’s top stock picker. His 11.5 percent gain was powered by a pair of good technology picks, led by the 43 percent jump in Apple stock, as well as 31 percent gain by Microsoft stock. That offset modest gains by two of his picks – Campbell Soup and Citigroup – and a 17 percent plunge by mining company Rio Tinto PLC.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

Predictions and results

Here’s how each analysts’ prediction for the Dow and Nasdaq panned out:

Market YTD:

Dow: s+8.3 percent; Nasdaq: s+14.5 percent

Anthony J. Ogorek

Dow: s+11 percent; Nasdaq: s+9 percent

Bruce Kaz

Dow: s+10 percent; Nasdaq: s+13 percent

Gerald T. Cole

Dow: t-7 percent; Nasdaq: t-10 percent

David Hartzell

Dow: t-3 percent; Nasdaq: t-7 percent

Tim Johnston

Dow: s+10 percent; Nasdaq: s+10 percent

Stephen R. Robshaw

Dow: s+5 percent; Nasdaq: s+2.9 percent

Cynthia E. Vance

Dow: s+5.1 percent; Nasdaq: s+7.9 percent

Thomas R. Emmerling

Dow: s+6.5 percent; Nasdaq: s+7.5 percent

NOTE: Results reflect Dec. 23 prices