To get some idea of the extreme volatility – and resilience – shown by the stock market in 2020, we only have to look at the behaviour of the S&P 500 Index, made up of the 500 largest stocks in the United States.
Between its low on March 23 and the close of trading on December 31, the S&P 500 rose from 2,237.40 points to no less than 3,756.07, a spectacular surge of almost 68%.
But of course this figure only tells part of the story. Earlier, on February 19, the S&P 500 had stood at 3,386.50 points after starting the year at 3,257.95. So it plummeted by 34% early in the pandemic only to pick itself up, recover its losses and end the year well into positive territory.
For the year as a whole, from January 1 to December 31, the S&P 500 rose by over 15%.