Life after QE3? Not for this stock market

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What's next for the Fed? Five truths for 2016

Despite all of its pops higher and lower, the stock market only looks volatile over the past 14 months or so.

The fact is, the market, at least as gauged by the S&P 500, really hasn't done much of anything. Equities are almost right where they were when the market closed on Oct. 29, 2014.

That date may ring a bell.

It is, of course, the very day the Federal Reserve announced it had concluded the third round of its massive money-printing operation known as quantitative easing. The Fed had been using its digital printing press to gobble up bonds, an operation that in turn was helping drive liquidity and boost asset prices in hopes of goosing economic activity,

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The result was an anemic economic recovery but a stunning rise in stocks — 200 percent in all off the March 2009 financial crisis lows.

Since that hallowed date? Pretty much nothing. The market was trading Tuesday within a couple points of where it was the day the Federal Open Market Committee announced it was cutting off the market's lifeline.