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Market Extra: The stock market is back near records—but its stiffest headwinds are ahead

U.S. stock benchmarks, having closed out a second straight weekly gain that has helped to reverse much of the recent weakness in major indexes, are near record levels. Uh-oh?

The recovery—the latest example of investors using any slight pullback as a buying opportunity, thereby prohibiting more pronounced pullbacks—comes at a time when uncertainties about the economy are growing, the government faces some key deadlines with major financial implications, and when the situation with North Korea remains both unclear and tense. In addition, markets just entered the month of September, which is historically the worst of the year for market performance, with the Dow averaging losses of about 1.5% over the past 20 years, according to Bespoke Investment Group data.

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