2. Going into the debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Obama had an inbuilt advantage on foreign policy and security. As president, with access to daily briefings by intelligence analysts, diplomats and generals, he is better briefed and it showed as he dominated Romney in the first half of the debate.
3. Stock pickers encountered difficulty this year in part because of concentration at the top of the market. Just five stocks—Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Intel— accounted for 20% of the market’s gains. If you weren’t at least equally weighted toward them, you had virtually no shot at making up for missing their enormous, index-driving gains. A majority of the market’s stocks did not perform nearly as well. According to the Leuthold Group, only 30% of S&P 1500 stocks posted gains exceeding the index itself. You’d have to go back to 1999 to see anything like this.
Two weeks later, Mr. Bernheimer was among the dozens of long-established old master dealers attending the London evening sales. In the past, they would buy at these auctions to stock up for the Maastricht European Fine Art Fair in March in the Netherlands. But with sellers encouraging Sotheby’s and Christie’s to compete for their business with ever-higher valuations, and auctions now marketed to a shallow pool of wealthy buyers, there was conspicuously little trade bidding.