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August Close Marks 2nd Best 6-Month Run in Wilshire 5000 History

The original broad measure of the U.S. stock market, the Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM (Wilshire 5000), posted its sixth consecutive monthly gain in August with a 3.57 percent total return for the month* reflecting a $300 billion paper gain, according to Wilshire Associates Incorporated, a leading global independent investment consulting and services firm.

This is the longest such streak since the six months ended January 2007 and represents a cumulative advance of 41.64 percent since the end of February. After hitting its recent closing low on March 9, 2009, the U.S. stock market has rallied 54.34 percent, bringing investors back to levels not seen since early October of last year.

“From an historical perspective, the stock market’s recent advance has been impressive in both magnitude and duration,” stated Steven J. Foresti, managing director and head of the Investment Research Group of Wilshire Consulting, a business unit of Wilshire Associates. “We have just witnessed the second best 6-month run in the Wilshire 5000’s 39-year history and one of only 13 occasions that the index has recorded a consecutive monthly winning streak of six months or more,” he added.

“Equity investors have been encouraged by recent signs of economic stabilization, but it remains to be seen whether these early signs of recovery are sustainable or merely a temporary sugar-high in the face of fiscal stimulus programs such as Cash for Clunkers,” noted Foresti. “A key concern going forward is how much of today’s sales have been borrowed from the future,” he commented.