New York, United States—The US stock market concluded its worst year since the global financial crisis on Monday following a late-season collapse that also raised doubts about the prospects for 2019.
Major indices notched modest gains in the year’s final session, but it barely made a dent compared with the rest of December, the market’s worst month in nearly a decade.
Ending in the red for 2018 did not appear in the cards in the first weeks of the year, when Wall Street repeatedly shot to new records on the heels of a sweeping tax cut signed into law in December 2017 by President Donald Trump.
Concluding the year with losses is “astonishing,” Manulife senior portfolio manager Nate Thooft told AFP. “From an investor perspective, it probably shakes them a bit.”
There was a spurt of renewed optimism on Monday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the final session with a gain of 1.2 percent at 23,327.46. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.9 percent to end at 2,506.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 percent to 6,635.28.
Even with Monday’s boost, the Dow finished 2018 with loss of 5.6 percent compared to the end of 2017, the S&P 500 with a drop of 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq with a decline of 3.9 percent.