Last week marked the end of a record year for the Major Markets. At Tuesday’s close, the NASDAQ reported an incredible 35.23% return, followed by a 28.88% gain in the S&P 500 and a 22.34% return in the Dow Jones.
For the S&P 500, this marks the 6th best return for the index. This is a quite a feat considering that the index had fallen 20% within 3 months’ time by Christmas Eve of 2018. The recovery that began after Christmas of 2018 was sharp as it led into 2019. In fact, 27% of the overall gains for last year took place within January alone. After a strong first quarter, mid-year volatility in May caused losses in the market that just about took away the gains made in January. As the market neared the end of the year, the S&P 500 managed to record four consecutive months of gains.
At the sector level, the advances that had been seen in the NASDAQ were even greater in the S&P 500 Technology sector as it beat all others with a remarkable gain of 48%. In fact, all sectors aside from Energy closed with double digit returns.
Last year was another year in which diversification in assets outside of Large Cap, especially Large Cap Growth, might cause an investor to feel like they underperformed. Yet, the double digits returns were a welcome sight in the smaller cap and value segments of the market. They just were not as great as the gains seen in the blue-chip stocks that often made the news.
Even bonds fared well in 2019. The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index recorded an incredible 8.72% return for last year. Likewise, Treasuries began the year with the 10-year trading at 2.69%, only see it close 2019 at 1.92%
This week marks the first full trading week for the year. Investors will now be looking forward to see how the new year compares with the last.
The S&P 500® Index is a capitalization index of 500 stock-designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of stock representing all major industries.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average® (The Dow®), is a price-weighted measure of 30 U.S. blue-chip companies. The index covers all industries except transportation and utilities.
The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and international based common type stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. Today the NASDAQ Composite includes over 2,500 companies, more than most other stock market indexes. Because it is so broad-based, the Composite is one of the most widely followed and quoted major market indexes
The MSCI World Index, which is part of The Modern Index Strategy, is a broad global equity benchmark that represents large and mid-cap equity performance across 23 developed markets countries. It covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country and MSCI World benchmark does not offer exposure to emerging markets.
The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index is designed to represent the performance of large- and mid-cap securities in 24 Emerging Markets countries of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As of December 2017 it had more than 830 constituents and covered approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.
The S&P GSCI Crude Oil index provides investors with a reliable and publicly available benchmark for investment performance in the crude oil market.
Companies in the S&P 500 Sector Indices are classified based on the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®).