Last year, three major U.S. stock market indexes saw some of their biggest annual gains of the decade, closing out a roller coaster ride that drove equities to record highs and lows during the year.
The Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average posted healthy returns in 2019. The tech-heavy Nasdaq and the benchmark S&P 500 rose 35.2% and 28.9%, respectively to notch their biggest annual gains since 2013. The 30-stock Dow index soared 22.3%, its strongest yearly performance since 2017.
Shares of Microsoft and Apple were among those that pushed the Dow higher, gaining 55% and 86%, respectively. The outperforming stocks also accounted for nearly 15% of the S&P 500’s annual climb, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The indexes wavered between gains and losses during most of their last trading sessions of the year, however ended in positive territory. The Dow closed at 28,538.44, up 0.27% on the day, while the S&P closed at 3,230.78, up 0.29%. The Nasdaq rose 0.3% to close at 8,972.60.
Even though there were small gains, but still it was a stark difference from last year year when trade war tensions and a government shutdown roiled markets into the new year.
From the beginning of the decade, the S&P 500, which includes many of the biggest American companies, has had a total return of about 257%, or about 13.6% annually, Howard Silverblatt, a senior index analyst at the S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote on Twitter. That’s higher than the average annual total return, including dividends, of about 10.3% since the 1920s, he said.
Those calculations did not include figures at Tuesday’s close.