Wall Street looks ahead to New Year

INVESTORS will be taking advantage next week of the some of the last remaining trading days of the year to place their bets on what will be the winners of 2011.

One of the defining characteristics of 2010 has been the strong correlation across asset classes. Movements in the dollar or in bonds had just as much impact on equities as more fundamental factors, such as corporate outlooks.

The tight relationships came as investors focused on the same factors - further stimulus from the Federal Reserve, sovereign debt worries in the Eurozone and the economic recovery.

The macro focus has meant investors made the same trades rather than differentiating individual sectors and industries.

The best-performing stocks of the year are already seeing a pullback, suggesting investors are happy to take profits ahead of fresh opportunities.