All right, here it is, the final tally on the stock market in 2009. Whether it really is the start of a new bull market, or the work of the Plunge Protection Team, stocks rallied in spectacular fashion after hitting bottom in March. And yet, as John pointed out the other day, it’s a rally that has been lightly attended.
While you ponder that and other mysteries — like how do Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly both get New Year’s Eve shows — here are the numbers to chew on, courtesy of Dow Jones’ stats group.
For 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 1651.66 points, or 18.8%. That’s the fourth biggest yearly point gain in its history, and the biggest since 2003, although it’s only the 33rd best year ranked by percent. It’s up 59.3% from the closing low of 6547.05 on March 9, but still down 26.4% from its all-time closing high of 14164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007. The index has gained ground in five of the past seven years.
The S&P 500 rose 211.85 points in 2009, or 23.5%. It’s the fifth largest year on points, but only the 18th largest by percentage. The S&P is up 64.8% from its 2009 closing low of 676.53, hit March 9. It’s still down 28.8% from its all-time closing high of 1565.15, hit Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P is up six of the past seven years.
But for the decade, according to S&P itself, the S&P 500 is down 24%; it closed at 1115.10 today, and at 1469.25 on Dec. 31, 1999. After accounting for dividends, the total return for the decade was negative 9.1%. Energy rose 102% in the decade; tech fell 54%. Financials lost 39.8%.
But the numbers tell only part of the story. The decade produced two bull markets, two bear markets and two burst bubbles, in tech and housing. ”It also saw,” S&P’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt writes, “many high level frauds, mismanagements, self-serving individuals (in both the public and private sector,) which has resulted (in) at least in a deep concern and (at) the most a full mistrust by investors of institutions.
“For markets to function, this confidence will need to return, and it can only be returned through deeds and actions.”
Here’s to hoping 2010 is better than 2009. Happy new year, folks.