The first half of 2015 is now in the books, and the news is pretty uninspiring. After a fair number of ups and downs, the S&P 500 has risen an almost imperceptible 0.20 percent on the year. The index actually declined by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the year.
The malaise has been broad-based. The biggest winners among sectors have been health care stocks, up 8.4 percent, and banking stocks, up 7.7 percent. Usually, the best performing-sectors do much better than that over the course of six months.
Meanwhile, several sectors slumped during the first half. Utilities fell by 12.0 percent, transportation stocks dropped by 11.7 percent, and energy stocks, which many expected to rebound after the collapse in oil prices last year, fell by another 5.7 percent.