US Stocks Failed to Deliver in 2015

As in the previous year, the energy and materials sectors were the largest detractors to performance in 2015, with the S&P 500 energy and S&P 500 materials indices falling

Lena Tsymbaluk 9 March, 2016 | 4:44PM
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2015 was an underwhelming year for US equities, with the S&P 500 index generating a total return of 0.75% in US Dollar terms, the weakest since 2008. This ended three years of double-digit gains for the index, but was far better than the near 40% dive it took during 2008. A continuing slump in energy prices, anticipation of rising interest rates, and weakness in the Chinese economy were among the factors contributing to the market volatility in 2015. That said, there was some variability in terms of sector performance.

As in the previous year, the energy and materials sectors were the largest detractors to performance in 2015, with the S&P 500 energy and S&P 500 materials indices falling 21% and 8%, respectively. The energy fall was obviously connected to the continued decline in the crude-oil price, which was down nearly a third in 2015, hit by a combination of weak global demand and oversupply due to OPEC reluctance to cut production.

Seven of the S&P 500’s top ten losers for the year were energy companies, led by Chesapeake Energy Corp, Consol Energy, and Southwestern Energy, all down more than 70%. The materials sector underperformed as renewed worries about slower growth in China pressured commodity prices. The prices of gold, silver and copper slid to six-year lows in 2015, negatively affecting mining & metals companies such as Freeport-McMoran and Alcoa.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Legg Mason RY US SmCp Opp A USD Dis(A)923.04 USD0.08Rating
Natixis Loomis Sayles US Eq Ldrs N/A £436.91 GBP-0.39Rating
T. Rowe Price US Blue Chip Eq A USD87.37 USD-0.87Rating
T. Rowe Price US Lg Cap Gr Eq A USD75.08 USD-0.69Rating

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Lena Tsymbaluk  

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