The Dow and the S&P 500 started and ended this unprecedented year at all-time highs — with a lot of volatility along the way.
All three major indexes ended Thursday, the final trading day of the year, higher.
Here's where things closed today:
- The Dow closed 0.7%, or 197 points, higher.
- The broader S&P 500 rose 0.6%.
- The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.1%, falling just short of its Monday record.
While the economy is nowhere near its pre-pandemic strength, the stock market rally tells a different story. All three benchmarks ended the year with gains for a second year in a row.
Here's a look at the year:
- The Dow climbed 7.3% this year.
- The S&P rose 16.3%.
- For the Nasdaq, it was best year since 2009 with a 43.6% gain.
At the start of 2020, investors worried the market might have less tailwind as the Fed stopped cutting interest rates and the economic jolt from President Trump's tax cuts ran out.
But in the months that followed, as the economic pain from the pandemic continued, the stock market recovered faster than many expected, helped greatly by unprecedented intervention from the Federal Reserve, which slashed interest rates and launched a slew of lending facilities to backstop markets and the economy.