Wall Street closed out a turbulent year for stocks on a bright note Monday, but still finished 2018 with the worst showing in a decade. After setting a series of records through summer and fall, major US indexes fell sharply after early October, leaving them all in the red for the year. The S&P 500 index, the market's main benchmark, finished the year with a loss of 6.2%. The last time the index fell for the year was in 2008 during the financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 5.6 percent. The Nasdaq composite sank 12.2 percent. While Wall Street started 2018 strong, stocks climbed to new highs early, shook off a sudden, steep drop by spring and rode a wave of tax cut-juiced corporate earnings growth to another all-time high by September, per the AP.
Stocks climbed to new highs early and shook off a steep drop by spring and rode a wave of tax cut-juiced corporate earnings growth to another all-time high by September. Then the jitters set in. Investors grew worried that the testy US-China trade dispute and higher interest rates would slow the economy, hurting corporate profits. A slowing US housing market and forecasts of weaker global growth in 2019 stoked traders' unease. The autumn sell-off knocked the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or a drop of 10 percent from its all-time high, for the second time in nine months. A Christmas Eve plunge brought it briefly into bear market territory, or a drop of 20 percent from its peak, before closing just short of the threshold that would have meant the end of the market's nearly 10-year bull market run.
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