The New Paper

January 4, 2021

Market performance - 2020 recap

All three major US stock indices ended the year at or near all-time highs last week. Here’s a summary of last year’s market performance for the major US indices and other key assets:

  • US stock indices: After falling sharply at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March, all three major indices recovered and closed at or near record highs for the year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way, increasing by 44% in 2020 amid a surge in demand for tech products and platforms (e.g. Amazon and Zoom).
  • Gold: The safe-haven asset reached an all-time high in August, due in part to broader concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus. While the price of gold fell from August highs, it closed up 24% for the year at $1,895.
  • Oil: Despite production cuts made by OPEC and other oil-producing countries, the price of oil fell in 2020 amid decreased demand driven by the coronavirus. US oil futures turned negative for the first time ever in April and ultimately closed down 21% at $49 in 2020.
  • Bitcoin: The value of bitcoin increased by over 300% in 2020. The majority of that growth took place in Q4, with the cryptocurrency’s value increasing from $11k to nearly $30k between October and December. The surge comes amid growing corporate and institutional adoption of the cryptocurrency (including PayPal’s launch of a crypto-focused platform last year).

Extra: US markets reopened this morning after closing last Friday for the holiday.

This story is from the January 4, 2021 edition of The New Paper – a clear, concise daily briefing that makes fact-first news easy to consume. Try it today.