The NYT tells the story of how six years of gains in the NYSE, amounting to over $7 trillion, were wiped out as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined by 33.6%, the S&P 500 by 38.5%, and Nasdaq 40.4% in the year of the biggest drop since 1931. All but two of the 30 DJIA companies, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, fell by more than 10% and no industry was spared the carnage.
Th story was repeated across bourses (and all sectors) round the world. The FTSE 100 fell 31.5%, German DAX 40.4%, Nikkei 42.1%, Shanghai composite 65% and HK's Hang Seng declined by 47.8%. The MSCI Emerging markets index fell 54%. The 30 share Indian BSE Sensex fell 52.4%, its worst performance (previous worst was a mere 20.8% in 1995) ever and the first annualized decline since 2001.
The precipitous decline of Sensex is in stark contrast to the rosy projections at the beginning of the year predicting the stratospheric heights of 23,000 and even 27,000. In 2008 FIIs pulled out a net of more than $13 billion, in contrast to 2007 when record inflows of $17.4 billion catapulted the BSE index upwards by 47%. Seventeen stocks in the BSE index lost more than half their value during the year, with infrastructure and automobiles being the worst hit sectors.
(HT: NYT interactive graphic here)
Businessline has this graphic of how different commodity assets performed.