For the year, the S&P 500 dropped 38.5 per cent, marking its worst run since a marginally higher drop of 38.6 per cent in 1937. The Dow lost 33.8 per cent, its worst annual decline since the index fell 52.7 per cent in 1931.
“It was beyond most people’s comprehension that such a thing could happen,” said Marc Pado, chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. “No one thought the short-term could be this destructive.”
The financial sector was the worst performing, down 57 per cent overall, in a year in which several institutions ended up part-owned by the state to prevent a collapse of the system.