The Edison Electric Institute Index trailed the major market averages for the third quarter of 2012, returning negative 0.4 percent compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 2.9-percent and the more than 6-percent return produced by both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index. All ten major market sectors were stronger than the EEI Index, with nine of the ten producing gains that ranged from 4 percent to 10 percent. Only the Dow Jones Utilities sector, which returned 0.3 percent, performed inline with the EEI Index. Such results on the broad market are not surprising in a quarter in which investors’ risk tolerance was boosted by renewed commitments by central banks to spur economic growth, including September announcements by the U.S. Federal Reserve of a third round of quantitative easing and by the European Central Bank that it stands willing to purchase the government bonds of financially stressed Eurozone nations. U.S. equity markets also were spurred higher by indications of continued growth in the domestic economy, which seemed, during the second quarter, to be on the verge of descending back into recession.
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