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Shocker: Stocks defy expectations

Stocks have outpaced Wall Street forecasts to an unprecedented degree this year. It almost always works the other way around.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters/File
Morning commuters walk past the New York Stock Exchange August 20, 2012. US stock have performed far better than predicted in 2012, something that never happens, according to Brown.

I want you to take a moment to think about this - never before in my entire career have stocks outpaced the forecasts of Wall Street strategists to the degree to which they have this year.  It's almost always the other way around, forecasters' outlooks much rosier than what the indices have actually been able to deliver.

This is pretty historic, now I've seen everything...

From Bloomberg:

The 13 percent rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has lifted the gauge to its highest level ever compared with strategists’ forecasts, a sign the best may be over for U.S. equities in 2012.

Shares have climbed 2.1 percent above the average projection of 1,389 from 13 firms from Morgan Stanley (MS) to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) tracked by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest premium on record for this time of year, according to data going back to 1999. Estimates by strategists in August have come true the last three years, with the S&P 500 rising 11 percent on average through December, the data show.

We've come to expect The Street to always be more optimistic than market realities, what can we infer from the fact that this paradigm is now flipped upside down?  Any thoughts?

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