Dec 31, 2019 - Economy & Business

Wall Street has its best year since 2013

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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wall Street had its biggest annual gain in six years — with the S&P 500 rising 29% and the Nasdaq Composite rising 35% in 2019. The Dow lagged behind other indices, but saw its biggest yearly gain since 2017.

Why it matters: U.S. stocks rebounded from 2018's year-end meltdown to log impressive gains, despite uncertainty stemming from the trade war and a slowdown in economic growth.

The big picture: The stellar performance of stocks wasn't just limited to the U.S. A gauge of global equities rose 24% this year, per Reuters — its best annual gain of the decade.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 23% this year, the best yearly performance since 2009.
  • As the Wall Street Journal notes, the U.S. stock gains come despite "subpar growth in earnings in revenue this year. Earnings per share growth will be just 1.4%, according to FactSet data, down from 22% in 2018."

Between the lines: Tuesday's close — which saw the S&P and Nasdaq close up less than 1%, while the Dow gained 76 points — also marks the final trading day of the decade. Technology stocks played a big role in driving Wall Street's gains.

  • Apple and Microsoft were the biggest contributors to the S&P's gains both this year and over the past 10 years, according to Howard Silverblatt, a senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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

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Stocks rebound after Wall Street’s worst day since 1987

Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks closed up more than 9% on Friday, following the stock market's worst day in 30 years.

Why it matters: Stocks jumped during Trump's coronavirus press conference, ending Wall Street's wild week with its best single-day performance since the financial crisis.

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The market is not quite as bad as the Dow makes it look

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

One high-profile group of stocks has been doing particularly badly during the coronavirus crisis — the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The state of play: The Dow stocks are down 33% over the past month, compared with a 30% decline for the S&P 500, and a 24% drop for the more tech-focused Nasdaq. On up days and down days the Dow has generally underperformed the market as a whole.

Stocks sink 4% as Dow closes in bear market

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Wednesday, with the Dow closing in bear market territory — or 20% below the record high hit in February.

Why it matters: The Dow's steep drop ends one major index's record 11-year stretch without a 20% decline, as Wall Street grapples with just how bad the coronavirus will be for the global economy. The S&P 500 is about 30 points away from hitting bear market territory.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 11, 2020 - Economy & Business