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Joe Average Inc.: The year that was, and the stocks that defined it

There are many ways to summarize the performance of a major stock market index. Here’s one approach that looks trivial but reflects just about everything you need to know about the S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX composite index this year: What’s the average stock?

The S&P 500 has risen 29 per cent in 2013, with less than a day of trading left in the year. The stock that matches that performance almost exactly is Fossil Group Inc., the fashion accessory company that makes watches, jewellery, handbags, belts and sunglasses.