Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2019 was the rare year when the simple investing strategy of targeting almost anything would have worked, the New York Times notes.

What happened: A series of interest rate cuts this year from the Federal Reserve — the first since the Great Recession — juiced the markets, making it a great time for investors.

The winners:

  • "The S&P 500 index was up 28.5 percent, through [yesterday], its best performance since 2013 and one of the best in decades."
  • "Broad indexes of the American bond markets are up nearly 9 percent."
  • "Gold jumped 18.5 percent and silver nearly 16 percent, and other commodities were also up."
  • "Futures prices for hogs, in case that had been your pick, gained about 18 percent."

The (few) losers: Not everything was a sure bet this year — natural gas and cobalt both fell. And individual stocks can have their risks, as the Times notes Macy's fell 40% this year.

Go deeper: The market will need the Fed again in 2020

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.

Column / Harder Line

How climate and business woes are sinking a natural-gas project

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Trump administration recently touted its approval of America’s first terminal on the West Coast to export liquefied natural gas. There’s just one problem: it probably won’t be built.

Why it matters: The project in southern Oregon faces political and business hurdles serious enough that those who are following it say it will be shelved. Its problems embody the struggles facing a once-promising sector that's now struggling under the weight of the pandemic and more.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Isaias strengthens as it crawls toward the Carolinas

A wave crashes ashore as Tropical Storm Isaias passes through Jetty Park in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Sunday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to reach the Carolinas late Monday at "near hurricane strength," the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The latest: Isaias was 65 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral with winds increasing to 70 mph, the NHC said in a 2 a.m. update. Storm surge warnings and hurricane watches were in effect for North and South Carolina and Rhode Island. Tropical storm watches were in effect for Florida, Long Island and Delaware.