Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dow Jones Posts Annual Loss for First Time Since 2008

Well, my 457B no doubt took a hit, and I've been unable to contribute to my Roth IRA for a few years now, so I'm not going to sweat it.

At WSJ, "Dow Industrials Post First Annual Loss Since 2008":
U.S. stocks posted their worst annual performance since 2008, closing out a rocky year that tempered investors’ expectations for gains in 2016.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a basket of 30 stocks, lost 2.2% in 2015, while the broader S&P 500 fell 0.7%.

The S&P’s loss ended three years of double-digit gains for the index, but was far from the nearly 40% dive it took in 2008.

The year wasn’t grim across the board. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5.7%. Netflix and, the top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 in percentage terms, rose 134% and 118%, respectively. The consumer discretionary sector, which includes stocks such as Starbucks and Expedia, led the S&P 500 with an 8.4% gain.

But broadly, the market struggled. While an extended slump in commodity prices helped drag the stock market into negative territory this year, six of the 10 sectors​in the S&P 500 ​posted losses.

“I see more headwinds than I do favorable factors” next year, said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at brokerage Cuttone & Co.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 179 points, or 1%, to 17425. The S&P 500 fell 0.9%. The index was up 0.2% for the year as of Wednesday’s close, but this session’s drop tipped it back into negative territory for 2015. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.2%.

Despite the trouble in energy companies, shares in Europe mostly performed well in 2015, but many investors had expected sharper gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 6.8% this year. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index ended up 9.4% in a roller-coaster year in which the index plunged over 40% in late August...