The quarter in review:
The second quarter taught investors an important lesson: it is impossible to predict the news that will move markets, and consequently nearly impossible to try to time the market's highs and lows. Renewed concern over the European debt crisis in May caused the biggest monthly drop for stocks since last September. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 6 % and overseas indexes did even worse. Things looked pretty bad through most of June. But on the last trading day of the month a surprise announcement that the European union would take unprecedented steps to help Italy and Spain sent stocks soaring, with most markets gaining 3 percent or more in one day. A single trading session turned the month around, helping to erase a lot (but not all) of May's losses. Anyone sitting on the sidelines for just one day on Friday was probably pretty sorry they missed the dramatic rally.