On July 4, 1776, the American colonies declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Over the years Independence Day has become a symbol of America and its values.
The 21st century has presented some stunning challenges to the United States: The popping of the Tech Bubble, the attack on the Trade Towers, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the collapse of residential real estate, the Financial Crisis, the Oil Catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, the outing of the One Percent, the Fiscal Cliff debacle — the list goes on and on.
The latest S&P 500 closing price is 16.6 percent above the last Independence Day but only 9.9 percent above July 4, 2000. The market performance in the intervening years has been a roller coaster of dizzying effect.