With the stock market near multi-year highs, it's easy to forget just how far we've come in the past three years. Yet it was on this day in 2009 that stocks hit what would become their lowest levels of the bear market -- 6547.05, a point not then seen since April 1997 -- setting in motion a rebound that would let brave investors double their money.
The markets celebrated that anniversary with a quiet day, as the Dow Jones Industrials
Some big news items hit large-caps. Starbucks
Where the real action was today, though, was in stocks of smaller companies. The Russell 2000 gained more than 1.3%, reversing what had been a disturbing trend of small-cap stocks underperforming the Dow and other large-company indexes. For instance, Molycorp
Meanwhile, gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Even though the Dow gets all the attention, it's small companies like Molycorp and Smith & Wesson that play a big role in where the stock market goes next. When the Dow rises without small-cap support, it raises fears that any large-cap strength is only temporary.
What will next week bring?
Daily moves in the Dow may be interesting, but it's the long haul you should really focus on. Start thinking about market-crushing returns by taking a look at the one stock that the Fool's chief investment officer picked it to crush the market. You'll find out its name in this free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." Instant access is just a click away.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Green Mountain and Starbucks, as well as creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain and writing covered calls on Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.