Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York December 30, 2015. Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Wall Street dropped on Thursday, leaving the S&P 500 marginally lower for a year marked by record highs as well as a major selloff.
In a reversal of one of 2015’s major trends, oil shares moved higher, with the S&P energy sector up 0.34 percent and alone among gainers.
Much of the blame for this year’s underwhelming stock market performance can be laid at the feet of crude oil prices, which lost a third of their value during an unprecedented global glut. The energy sector fell 24 percent, its worst annual performance since the global recession.
The S&P 500 hit a record high in May only to slump 11 percent over eight days in August over fears of a China-led global economic slowdown. The CBOE Volatility index spiked to a seven-year high before the market recovered.
On the last trading day of 2015, the S&P 500 fell 0.94 percent to 2,043.94 points, leaving it with a total loss of 0.71 percent for the year.
“If you went to sleep on December 31, 2014, and woke up today, you’d say what a dull year it’s been, and yet in between we’ve had these wild swings,” said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“The lesson is that people should watch the extremes. On those big down days, hold your nose…