From Vaccine News to Retail Traders, See What’s Rattled Markets
(Bloomberg Markets) -- As the coronavirus pandemic surged around the globe last year, markets went on a wild ride. Unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, along with a flood of new retail investors, spurred increased activity in financial assets and rapid swings. With nonstop political news and a vaccine rollout under way, volatility is likely to continue into 2021.
A Rocky Year for the S&P 500
The stock market’s plunge in March and dizzying rebound was part of a series of dramatic ups and downs throughout 2020.
A Wild End to an Erratic Year
A flurry of vaccine breakthroughs in November sparked a rotation into financials and energy, which had been among the most beaten-down sectors in the S&P 500.
Trading surged in 2020 amid an onslaught of news on politics and Covid-19.
Small-Caps Have a Big Finish
After losing to the largest peers all year, shares of small companies rallied following reports of effective vaccine developments, seen as key to ending the pandemic.
Retail traders accounted for 20% of trading volume last year.
A Rush to Cash
Money-market assets ballooned as investors ducked for cover.
Demand for bullish contracts soared as stocks rebounded.
Bitcoin reached $40,000 amid central bank money-printing and speculative fervor. Investors rushed to funds tracking the cryptocurrency for a piece of the action.
Tech and Tesla Propel an ETF’s Rise
Big bets on Tesla Inc. attracted exchange-traded fund investors to the Ark Innovation ETF, helping to boost its total inflows in 2020 to almost $10 billion as it rose 149% last year.
Demand for gold surged early in the year, then cooled off a little.
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