Investors Hope for Strong Stock Market in 2010

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With the stock market having climbed out of 12-year lows in 2009, investors are hoping for another strong year in the stock market.

Many analysts are also expecting solid returns in 2010 - although not as good as last year.

One reason for the positive outlook is that businesses will be making money as the economy recovers from the recession.

"Profit margins will continue to be wide in 2010. We could easily see 10 percent profit gain and at least five percent more on the stock market," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

"I think you'll still do better in stocks than bonds, but diversification is the key - it's going to be a volatile year," Swonk said.

Diversification means people will invest in stocks as well as other assets such as gold. Analysts expect the yellow metal and other commodities to keep rising this year.

So far, both gold and oil are off to a good start with gold up around $20 early Monday at $1,121.40 an ounce and oil at nearly $81 a barrel.

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