One of the prime indicators we use to judge American economic health is the U.S. stock market. By stock standards, 2013 was a banner year, seeing a 26 percent annual gain and finishing at a record mark of 16,576.
Do you feel the economy is off and running again? Are your pockets overstuffed with cash? In most of the country – where we don't spend all day trading stocks on Wall Street – we missed out on that historic success.
Corporate America dodged the New Years hangover with a very profitable year in 2013. Walmart saw profits rise 10 percent to $16 billion. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer pocketed $17 billion, and Apple led the top 10 with $46 billion in profit. Among the top 10 were two oil companies, two banks and three computer/software companies. Among them, they earned roughly $240 billion in profits last year.