Jan 4, 2021 - Economy & Business

Which asset classes performed best in the market frenzy of 2020

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The everything rally delivered big gains to just about every asset in 2020, thanks in large part to unprecedented action from the Fed and Congress.

By the numbers: U.S. equities ended 2020 higher on the last day of trading, with stocks registering strong gains — the Nasdaq rallied 44% on the year while the Russell gained 19%.

  • The S&P 500 and the Dow both finished the year at record highs, gaining 16% and 7% for the year, respectively.

What else: Commodities were major winners, with silver the year's top performing major asset, rising by nearly 48%.

  • Soybeans rose by just under 40% for the year and orange juice, copper, corn and gold all gained around 25%.

Long-dated U.S. Treasuries rose by more than 16% and an index of Treasuries maturing between seven and 10 years delivered a 9% gain.

In currencies, the year's biggest gainer was the Swedish krona, which rose by around 14% against the dollar.

  • The dollar index declined by a little more than 7% and closed the year at its lowest level since early 2018.
Go deeper