Kind of amazing that a year could start with a bang. Amazing because there were so many profits to take and little expectation that rates would go down. More likely that rates go higher if only because there is an election year and if the Democrats get a hold of things we have to presume that capital gains taxes go higher as every Democrat, every one, believes that capital gains are the province of the rich because they derive from the stock market or from investment that the middle class can't possibly make.
I have always favored lower taxes on dividends and higher on capital gains in order to encourage long term investment and dividend reinvestment. I think that ETFs and the tax situation and a genuine fear of equities that isn't much different than the end of the 1930s. We are still way too close to our Great Depression to get people to think that stocks are safe. The SEC has, by its own abdication, not helped, and the exchanges don't really care - whatever makes them the most money - including ETF listing fees works best.
The "pros" as always have convinced people they are too stupid to own stocks. I have always felt that stocks and index funds work together. The other side, the index side, would never agree to individuals buying a single stock because they have such contempt for those who would like to try and find an Apple (AAPL) or a Nvidia (NVDA) or a Lam Research (LRCX) as we do for Action Alerts PLUS, a club designed to encourage individual stock ownership. The themes today: semis, tightness in supply of them, and, of course, a lessening of tensions with China - as spurious as they could turn out to be - are working. Suspension of critical factors? I would like to think a skepticism is taking over from ignorance.
Anyway, Happy New Year to all. I actually am ready to go back to work. Can't remember when I could ever say that since August of 1989, when I closed my fund for a full month because of good performance! Sigh...