As simplistic as it is, I believe that when attempting to predict the market action for the year ahead, it is necessary to first review the secular environment. Over the past century, our stock market has tended to take a staircase steps approach to progress. We see roughly 15 years of flat followed by roughly 15 years of forward. Consider 1968 through 1982. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 1,000 three times, only to fall back dramatically, before finally and permanently breaking through in 1982.