Global stocks entered the new year on a high note, lifted by signs of an improving outlook for the world economy and strong corporate earnings growth. Economic data in the U.S., Europe and Japan showed a clear global acceleration trend, while many emerging markets also experienced surging business activity and rallying equity markets.
Economically sensitive stocks outpaced defensive sectors across the board. The consumer discretionary and information technology sectors posted the largest gains, supported by solid holiday retail sales and impressive earnings at tech industry giants. Utilities, real estate and telecommunication services stocks lagged the overall market.