After two radically different and extreme quarters to start the year, returns settled down in the third quarter to post gains that resembled a more normal, albeit optimistic, environment. The S&P 500 Index, a proxy for U.S. stocks, rose by 9% while a broad measure of taxable fixed income securities, the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, gained 0.6%. Year to date, the S&P 500 is up 6%.
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