Stocks End Year with a Whimper

For me, reading the Wall Street Journal is a bit like eating, drinking and sleeping – I can’t really go without any of these things for very long.  I think that their reporting is fair and accurate and definitely of interest to me.

So, I was a bit annoyed when the Friday headlines read ‘US stocks Post Worst Annual Losses Since 2008.’

Now that headline is accurate – last year was the worst year for US stocks since the financial crisis.  But is it fair?  I don’t think so.  Last year, the S&P 500 earned 1.38 percent while the market fell by 37 percent in 2008.

Maybe it would have sold fewer papers or received fewer clicks, but a more fair headline would have been, ‘Stock Barely Budge in 2015’ or ‘Stocks Post Smallest Gain Since 2.11 Percent in 2011’.

Last year was tough, but it was nothing like the pain that we endured in 2008 and any comparison, as indirect as it may be, may be accurate but isn’t fair.