And here are the results of the year, friends! We honestly warned you about them in the previous article. So take a few minutes off your prayers for an early end to 2020 and check out our selection of events that we think were the most significant.
1. COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine (surprised, huh?)
Perhaps there is no more annoying and painful topic than this one. However, in 2020, the whole world was forced to play by cruel rules dictated by the coronavirus infection. As of this writing, 82 million disease cases were recorded worldwide, 46.3 million recovery cases, and 1.79 million deaths.
In late February - early March, the stock market crashed. These were the worst trading weeks since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. March 9 has already gone down in the history of exchanges as "Black Monday," March 12 - as "Black Thursday." No one even tried to name all the following days of an inconsolable and uncompromising fall.
The indices reached the bottom on March 18-23. Let's compare the indicators of those days with the statistics of the beginning of the year. The picture emerges as follows: the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 35.6%, the S&P 500 by 31.3%, the Nasdaq 100 by 21.2%, the Stoxx Europe 600 by 33, 7%, Kospi - 31.8%, Shanghai Composite - 13.4%, Hang Seng - 24%, Nikkei 225 - 28.7%, S&P/ASX 200 - 32%.
COVID-19 and quarantine measures have hit such sectors of the global economy as air, land, sea passenger and cargo transportation, hotel and spa business, entertainment, oil, and heavy industry.
But we can call the technology sector the primary beneficiary of the pandemic. The best proof of this will be the growth statistics of IT companies quotes. Since the beginning of the year, Apple has risen in price by 85%, and its capitalization has reached $ 2.3 trillion, Amazon grew by 79.9%, Microsoft by 42.2%, Facebook by 35.4%, and Alphabet by 31.2%.
We also wanted to note the growth of shares of Zoom Video Communications by 430% and Netflix by 64.2%. As of this writing, companies' capitalization was $ 101.2 billion and $ 234.5 billion, respectively. So much for the delights of quarantine and working remotely.
2. Antitrust hearings
Since we have already touched upon the largest representatives of the technology sector, it is fair to say that not everything went smoothly for them in 2020. The primary headache was lawsuits and antitrust investigations.
Only Alphabet, Google's parent company, was sued three times during the year. On October 20, the US Department of Justice and 11 states accused the IT giant of creating a monopoly on the browser market. Plaintiffs are seeking the sale of Chrome. On December 16, 10 states accused Google of monopolizing the online advertising market. On December 17, 38 states went to court, accusing the corporation of a monopoly in an online search.
Facebook is also involved in one of the lawsuits listed above. Prosecutors allege that Mark Zuckerberg's company entered into an illegal conspiracy with Alphabet. The social network already lacked litigation. On December 9, the US Federal Trade Commission, along with 46 states, accused Facebook of suppressing fair competition and insist on selling Instagram and WhatsApp.
Let us also recall the October meeting of Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet leaders with the representatives of the US Senate Trade Committee. On that day, IT corporations fell by more than $ 100 billion.
In November, Apple agreed to pay 34 states and the District of Columbia $ 113 million to settle consumer abuse allegations. We are talking about the hearings on the deliberate slowdown of the manufacturer's old models of smartphones. Before that, the company has already paid out $ 500 million.
Let's not forget that for the same maneuver, Apple was fined by regulators from other countries. For example, for € 25 million in France in February 2020.
3. Vaccines against COVID-19
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can be safely attributed to the number of organizations for which the outgoing year was successful. Among them, those who developed anti-COVID vaccines shine the most.
Since the spring collapse of the stock market, Pfizer and BioNTech shares have risen in price by 30% and 160%, respectively. Moderna shares rose more than 419%, Johnson & Johnson - 39%, AstraZeneca - 32%, Sanofi - 27%.
4. Inclusion of Tesla shares in the S&P 500 index
November 16, S&P Global Inc. published a press release on its website that on December 21, Tesla shares would enter the S&P 500 index. The next day, the American electric car manufacturer's shares rose by 8.21%, from $ 408.09 to $ 441.61.
If we talk about the changes over the year that have occurred with Elon Musk's company's quotes, it is worth noting that they increased by almost 703%. As of this writing, Tesla's capitalization was $ 631.29 billion. In comparison, Toyota Motor and Volkswagen AG's capitalizations reach $ 251.97 billion and € 85.65 billion, respectively.
5. Epic finale of Brexit
In January, the House of Commons passed legislation to separate the United Kingdom from the European Union. Further, the document was signed by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Head of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
After that, the parties began endless attempts to agree on a trade deal, determining their future economic relations. This story dragged on for a whole year, and the agreement was signed only on December 24, a week before the deadline. The EU and UK representatives expressed their satisfaction with the final version of the document.
"We have regained control over our money, borders, laws, trade, and our fishing waters," said Boris Johnson.
"Protecting our interests was our absolute priority during the negotiations, and I am pleased to state that we were able to ensure it," said Charles Michel.
Pandemic, quarantine, vaccines, the growth of the IT sector, antitrust litigation of technology corporations, the explosive success of Tesla, and, of course, Brexit - we would gladly supplement this top with other events, but it's time to prepare for the celebrations.
We understand that you could have compiled a completely different list of the most important financial world events this year. And if it's true, please share it with us in the comments. Santa leaves gifts under the tree, and the most grateful readers leave comments under the post. Happy New Year, and all the best to you!