Contrarians Rejoice! S&P500’s Worst Year Ever

I guess there’s not a whole lot of Protection at work in the Plunge Protection Team!

“The worst annual decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 1931 has dragged down every industry in the benchmark gauge and 96 percent of its stocks.

All 64 of the S&P 500’s so-called level-three categories, groups such as “distributors” and “leisure equipment” with as few as one company, dropped in 2008. Among 500 stocks, 483 slipped as the index fell 49 percent, poised for the biggest yearly retreat ever…

More stocks decreased in the current bear market than in the 49 percent rout after the technology bubble burst in 2000. The breadth of declines this year is leaving investors without defensive strategies to protect against losses that erased more than $8 trillion from U.S. equities in 2008.

During the S&P 500’s retreat between March 2000 and October 2002, nine industries climbed, including two — tobacco and health-care — that rose more than 80 percent. Since the S&P 500 peaked in October 2007, seven stocks in the index advanced, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At least 10 times as many rose in the 2000-2002 sell-off.

Worst annual decline in eight decades? Geez, how incompetent must a secret, market-manipulating organization be before someone gets fired?


S&P 500 Index Drop Leaves 64 Industries With Losses
Lynn Thomasson and Eric Martin
Bloomberg, Nov. 21 2008

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