Dec 31, 2019

Why it was so hard for investors to lose money in 2019

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

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.