U.S. stocks declined nearly across the board in January as investors took profits from the fourth-quarter advance, according to Steve Swartley, manager and research analyst at Russell Investment Group. For the month, the Russell 2000 index fell 4.2%, and the Russell 1000 lost 2.5%. Eleven of 12 industry sectors in the Russell 2000 declined, with energy services the lone standout.
"It was a pretty disappointing performance, especially for January," Mr. Swartley said in an interview. "You're usually hoping to have a strong January as a precursor for the year." He said he expected overall stock prices to rise modestly in 2005.
In January, every Russell U.S. benchmark declined. The Russell 3000 slipped 2.7%, and each of the other 20 sector indexes lost similar amounts. The best-performing index was the Russell Top 200 Value, which dipped 1.5%. The Russell 2000 Growth index recorded the biggest loss, dropping 4.5% for the month.