Stocks ended the year in a show of strength, establishing a new record weekly close, one day after setting a record daily close. Last week, the S&P 500® index rose 0.9 percent, and for the month of December rose 4.4 percent. For the full year, the S&P 500® index surged higher by 26.9 percent. But it may be worth noting that the strongest groups recently have mostly defensive sectors, as investors weigh concerns related to the pandemic, evolving monetary policy, and an aging bull market. The leaders last week were Real Estate, Materials, and Utilities. Only Communication Services was lower, but Technology, Consumer Discretionary, and Financials all underperformed. For the month, Consumer Staples, Real Estate, and Utilities led the way. No sectors were lower, although in a statistical anomaly, the Consumer Discretionary ETF XLY was exactly unchanged. But other underperformers included Energy, Financials, and Tech. For the full-year, energy stocks led the way higher with a gain of 46 percent, followed closely by the 42 percent gain in Real Estate. The underperformers were led by 14 percent gains in Utilities and Consumer Staples.