U.S. Stocks Pare Yearly Gain as Dollar, Oil Slip: Markets Wrap

  • S&P 500 caps 9.3 percent annual gain, Dow falls short of 20k
  • Oil has best year since 2009, gold rises most since 2011

Market Optimism Heading Into 2017

U.S. stocks completed the fourth annual gain since 2011 on the longest losing streak since the election, while oil and gold posted the best yearly advances since at least that time. The dollar rose for a fourth straight year.

The S&P 500 Index cut its advance this year to 9.3 percent as a three-day slide left it at the lowest level since Dec. 6. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year more than 250 points below 20,000 after climbing within 30 of the mark this week. Trading volume was at least 29 percent below the 30-day average. Treasuries retreated, with the 10-year yield adding 17 basis points in 2016. A measure of the dollar fell a second day, trimming its annual gain to below 3 percent. Gold jumped 8.2 percent for its first yearly climb since 2012. Oil futures added 45 percent in New York.

The heady advances in multiple assets came after the year began on a sour note, with the MSCI World gauge tumbling 2 percent on the first day and U.S. equities notching the worst-ever start to a year. China-fueled turmoil sent stock markets from Tokyo to India into bear markets in the first two months of 2016. Oil reached a 13-year low while the dollar slid to its weakest level in a year -- all before June. The second half of the year saw that action reverse, as financial markets powered past the Brexit shock while Donald Trump’s presidential victory provided an unexpected boost to riskier assets.

“2016 was perhaps one of the biggest roller-coasters driven by political events,” said Dmitri Petrov, a strategist at Nomura International Plc in London. “It’s not so much the actual realized volatility of asset markets, but volatility of market view around the global macro and policy outlook that made it exceptional.”

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent Friday to end the year at 2,238.83, the lowest since Dec 7. Financial shares contributed most to the annual gain, with a 20 percent rally. Energy producers jumped 24 percent in 2016, while health-care stocks lost 4.4 percent for the worst performance.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 13 percent this year, led by gains of at least 30 percent in Caterpillar Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Nike Inc.’s 19 percent slump made it the dog of the index.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent, paring its annual drop to 1.2 percent, the first retreat since 2011.
  • Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index has rallied 19 percent in the year for the best performance among 24 developed-nation stock gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Materials and energy producers that make up one-third of the measure have jumped at least 32 percent.
  • Emerging-market stocks rose for a fifth day, padding an 8.4 percent advance that is the best since 2012.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed, up more than 2 percent for the year, its first annual gain since 2013.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2 percent, trimming the annual rise to 2.8 percent.
  • The euro rallied as much as 1.6 percent in minutes during the Asian morning, before paring its advance to 0.5 percent and trading at $1.0524. It ended 2015 at $1.0862.
  • The yen fell 0.4 percent to 117 per dollar, erasing an earlier advance of 0.4 percent. The currency was up more than 20 percent for the year in August, but has pared that to 2.7 percent.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.3 percent after dropping 0.5 percent Thursday, although it remains up 2.8 percent for the year.
  • Sterling was on track for a more than 16 percent drop against the dollar this year and was the worst performing Group-of-10 currency in 2016 despite the recent stabilization.

Commodities

  • Brent crude futures made the biggest annual gain since 2009 as OPEC and other producing nations plan to start supply cuts next month to reduce swelling global inventories. Futures rose 52 percent in London to settle at $56.82 a barrel
  • West Texas Intermediate futures slipped Friday to end the year at $53.72, good for a 45 percent rally in the year.
  • Gold futures ended the best year since 2011 on a down note, losing 0.6 percent to settle at $1,151.70 an ounce in New York. The metal gained 8.2 percent in 2016.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell two basis points to 2.45 percent, the lowest since Dec. 8, after dropping three basis points Thursday. The rate slipped 17 basis points in the year.
  • German 10-year bunds advanced, sending the yield lower by 42 basis points to 0.21 percent.
  • India’s benchmark sovereign bonds capped their best performance since the global financial crisis amid record debt purchases by banks, the biggest holders of government securities.
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