Happy New Year everyone. The last session of 2015 closed down with a moderate selloff right at the close ending just short of a major resistance. WTI oil slipped off its session highs to cut its gains in half while the US dollar traded sideways in the high 98's.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Thursday but fell as much as 35 percent for the year after a race to pump by Middle East crude producers and U.S. shale oil drillers created an unprecedented global glut that may take through 2016 to clear.
ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss private bank Lombard Odier said it would pay $99.8 million under a non-prosecution agreement with U.S. authorities to settle an investigation into allegations it helped wealthy American clients evade taxes.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Apple Inc, the largest U.S. company by market value, are set to finish the year in the red on notable weakness for a stock that had largely been impervious to pain for several years.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock and bond markets in major economies were set to close 2015 with a mixed performance, while oil prices and emerging markets cemented big losses during a year that provided few safe places for investors.
2015 - the year when The Fed hiked rates for the first time in a decade to confirm its own narrative that "everything is awesome" and the US economy can handle 'normalization'.
2015 - the worst collapse in US macro-economic data since 2008 on both an absolute and relative to expectations basis.
It was different this time. The 'new normal' pattern has been an optimistic start to the year which then disappoints into mid-year only to resurge and surprise meteoroconomists in the second half of the year as government fiscal year-end spending and some form of stimulus invariably drove surveys back into optimistic territory.
A brief sampling of the best, worst and toughest financial markets of 2015.
Like any year, 2015 had its share of good markets (mainly stocks in or related to F.A.N.G.), bad markets (essentially all commodities, currencies, most bonds and the majority of stocks) and the ugly (most actively managed funds). Among the market segments and indices that we track, today's Chart Of The Day presents the winners of each of the three categories this year (through 12/30/2015).
The Good: On the heels of a 40% jump in 2014, Venezuela's main IBC Stock Index was up a cool 280% this year. Although, due to currency devaluation, you'd be lucky if you kept any of those 28,000 basis points.
The Bad: Coal stocks were an example of another trend that persisted this year. After closing 2014 some 87% off of its 2008 high, the Dow Jones U.S. Coal Index lost another 80% in 2015. That's why we don't go bottom-feeding when selecting investments.
The Ugly: There were much worse markets in 2015, but the S&P 500 was just plain ugly for anyone trying to figure it out. For one, as of the 2nd to last day of the year, the index was exactly 0.2% away from its 2014 closing price. Furthermore, along the way, it suffered stints of maddening behavior.
From February 3 to August 19, the S&P 500 never closed more than 2.2% away from the 2085 level, up or down ...
Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
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