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Wall Street markets ended the worst year since financial crisis

Wall Street markets ended the last day of the year on positive territory, but during the year accumulated the highest loss since the financial crisis.

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Wall Street markets ended the last day of the year on positive territory.

The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial rose by 1.15% to 23,327.46 points. However, for the year the benchmark wiped out 5.63%, which is the worst performance since 2008. On a monthly basis, the decline was even 8.66%.

Dow Jones

The broader index S&P 500 rose by 0.85% on Monday to 2,506.85 points, but for the year it recorded a decline of over 6%.

The technology index Nasdaq 100 rose by 0.71% to 6,329.97 points.

Significant losses on stock markets are mainly due to chaotic trading in December. The US President Donald Trump has long praised the rise of the markets as an indicator of the success of his economic policy.

The trade war between Washington and Beijing, the fears of Hard Brexit at the end of March 2019, and the partial paralyze of the US government have created a dangerous combination that has led to market fluctuations.

In addition, Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for its policy of raising interest rates, and series of angry tweets against the central bank also contributed to investors’ negative sentiment.

Like the few open European markets, traders in the United States also referred to progress in the trade dispute as a reason for the good mood of stock markets. Both sides are on the right track in trade talks to resolve the conflict. The US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a phone call during the weekend. After that, the US President confirmed for the great progress reached in resolving the trade tension between the two countries.

The disappointing economic data from China did not mean any impact on the shares. At the end of the year, the sentiment in the Chinese industry continues to worsen. For the first time in two years, the official PMI index in the country fell below the 50-point threshold.

Meanwhile, the decision of the US federal judge that the healthcare reform “Obamacare” is unconstitutional, is not yet in force. Judge Reed O’Connor canceled his decision on Sunday evening (local time). In his statement, he stressed that still considered healthcare reform to be unconstitutional. However, the order should not come into force immediately, as many Americans would face “great uncertainty”.

Corporate performance

Amazon was one of the best-performing companies in the Nasdaq 100 with a growth of 1.62%. According to the media, the giant wants to increase the number of branches of its bio food supermarkets Whole Foods. This should help even more customers to enjoy the two-hour delivery.

Within Dow Jones, Walt Disney added 2.19%. The entertainment company has concluded a new compensation agreement with Telecom giant Verizon. The two companies promised details over the next few days over the weekend. Previously, Verizon threatened to remove Disney’s bids from its Fios TV product.

Verizon shares rose by 1.72%.

The pharmaceutical giants Merck (+34.96%) and Pfizer (+19.71%) are leading the annual ranking of the world’s best-performing stocks. A key driver for Merck’s outperformance was the strong ramp-up in sales of Keytruda, a drug used to treat various forms of cancer. Keytruda sales grew by at least 80% in the first three quarters of 2018.

On the opposite was Goldman Sachs, which is down by 34.84%. Among the worst performing stocks were also IBM (-25.7%), DowDuPont (-24.5%), Caterpillar (-18.8%) and 3M (-18.8%).