Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Markets Finish Dismal Year on Positive Note

Hope springs eternal.

It was that kind of sentiment that typified trading in the final session of 2008. Stocks put a day of solid gains for the second straight day, though they finish the year with massive losses and an investment community dazed by insecurity and a failed economy. Stocks approached key resistance late in the day and retreated, with most participants happy to say goodbye to a truly horrible year.

The pain was equally shared amongst the indices.

The Dow ended 2008 with a loss of 4488.43, closing at 8776.39 from the Dec. 31, 2007 close of 13264.82, a 33.83% drop in overall value.
The NASDAQ fell 1075.25, from 2652.28 to 1577.03, a 41% loss.
The S&P 500 lost 565.11, from 1468.36 903.25, off 38%.
The NYSE Composite skidded 3983.27, from 9740.32 to 5757.05, a 39% decline.

On the day:
Dow 8,776.39, +108.00 (1.25%)
NASDAQ 1,577.03, +26.33 (1.70%)
S&P 500 903.25. +12.61 (1.42%)
NYSE Composite 5,757.05, +87.05 (1.54%)

Advancers 5476, Decliners 1345. New lows out finished new highs once more, 155-46. a trend that has now exceeded 14 months with only intermittent breaks. Volume was subdued.

NYSE Volume 1,308,103,000
NASDAQ Volume 1,557,348,000

Commodities soared at year end. Oil priced $5.57 higher, closing at $44.60. Gold gained $14.30, to $884.30. Silver added 32 cents at $11.30 per ounce.

Overall, the buying of the past two sessions shouldn't be considered any kind of a trend, as much of the purchases were tax or allocation induced. The real action begins with great levels of doubt, fear and faith on Friday.

Happy New Year!

Check this page tomorrow for annual predictions.

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