AP Business Writers Michael Liedtke in San Francisco and Ken Sweet and Joyce M. Rosenberg in New York contributed to this report.
It was an easy year to emulate Warren Buffett even as Congress almost wrecked the economy.
U.S. stocks rocketed to new heights, and markets in Japan and Europe jumped, too. The gains enriched investors and defied a still-subpar economic rebound from the Great Recession.
Budget fights closed much of the U.S. government for 16 days. Leaked classified documents showed that the National Security Agency collected private online communications via Internet companies. The disastrous rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law confirmed fears of a bureaucratic train wreck.
Central banks embarked on a shopping spree. JPMorgan Chase paid a record $13 billion for its role in the housing bust. General Motors flashed signs of its old horsepower. A colossal merger for American Airlines and US Airways took flight. Twitter's IPO recalled the dizzy dot.com era. And the heartbreaking deaths of 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh showed that some overseas factories serving U.S. companies remain unsafe.
The stock market boom was chosen as the top business story of 2013 by business editors at The Associated Press. Washington's gridlock and dysfunction came in second, followed by revelations involving the NSA.