Dow ends with worst year since 2008

Dow Down in 2015

The Dow ended down 2.2% in 2015 — its worst performance since 2008. The S&P 500 also ended the year down 0.7%. It was the worst year for those two indexes since markets collapsed 7 years earlier. Tech companies helped the Nasdaq finish up 5.7%.

Volatility was a key factor in the Dow’s decline in 2015. Investors were faced with a trifecta of issues including falling oil prices, volatility in China’s markets, and constant speculation that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.
Market’s were also hurt by Greece’s debt crisis, the European Central Bank’s stimulus package, and a slowdown from emerging markets.

Investors who kept cash on hand avoided negative returns from stocks and bonds.

Bullish investors who invested in Amazon and Netflix made out great with 120% returns on their money. That means a $10,000 investment at the start of the year turned into $24,000.

Google and Expedia each finished 2015 up over 45% while Facebook gained 34%.

It was a horrible year for energy stocks with Chesapeake Energy, CONSOL Energy, and Southwestern Energy all losing 75% of their value. Corporate defaults more than doubled from 2014 numbers.