2008 By the Numbers

Great data collection, via David Gaffen of the WSJ’s MarketBeat, titled By the Numbers — How 2008 Shakes Out. Unfortunately, it got lost last week during the vacation days.

Here is Gaffen’s data run:

-33.84% The percentage loss in the Dow industrials, worst since 1931, third-worst in history.

-38.49% The percentage loss in the S&P 500, worst since 1937.

-40.54% The percentage loss for the Nasdaq Composite Index, worst in history.

126 The number of up days on the S&P 500 in 2008.

126 The number of down days on the S&P 500 in 2008. (The difference, of course, is that on the down days, the market lost an average of a kajillion points.)

28 The number of Dow industrials components ending lower on the year. The outliers were Wal-Mart Stores and McDonald’s.

15 The number of Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index members that ended the year in positive territory. This is the worst breadth for the S&P going back to 1980; second-worst was 2002, when 131 stocks, or 26% of the issues, rose on the year.

18 The number of daily 5%+ moves on the S&P 500 in 2008.

17 The number of 5%+ moves on the S&P 500 between 1956 and 2007.

280.80 The daily average point range on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

421.01 The daily average point range on the Dow Jones Industrial Average between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

-7.87%. The worst one-day percentage change on the Dow in 2008, which ranks ninth all-time.

-87.14% The performance of General Motors in 2008, making it the worst among Dow components. (There are issues here of survivorship bias — American International Group was removed from the 30-stock average during the year, and that stock lost 97.31% in 2008, making it the worst performer among the members of the S&P 500.)

1.78 The percentage-point decline in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which fell to 2.253% by the end of the year.

6 The number of days in 2008 that rank among the Dow’s top 20 up days and top 20 down days in terms of percentage change. (The leader, with 10 appearances, is 1932.)

-17.7%.The performance of the S&P’s consumer staples sector — the best performer among the S&P’s 10 industry sectors.

24.03% The gain in the Barclays long-term Treasury Index in 2008.

15.66 The difference, in percentage points, between the lowest spread over Treasurys for the Merrill Lynch High Yield Index for the year, and the highest spread over Treasurys. (At its peak, the index was at 20.68 percentage points over comparable Treasurys.)

$61,000 The cost of insuring $10 million in U.S. Treasurys against default for five years. At the beginning of 2008, this cost was $6,000.

Sources: Dow Jones Indexes; Markit; Standard & Poor’s


By the Numbers — How 2008 Shakes Out
David Gaffen
Marketbeat, January 2, 2009, 10:09 am

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