How the S&P 500 Sectors Ended '08

This post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.

An end-of-year rally today (albeit on fairly light volume once again) pushed the S&P 500 into positive territory to end the month. December’s 0.8% gain snaps three straight monthly declines for the index, but it was just the fourth month this year in which it posted a monthly gain. In the final hour, the Dow too flirted with finishing the month with a gain. However, it ended off its highs of the day, and posted its fourth straight monthly loss, with a decline of 0.6% in December.

With gains over 4% during the past 5 days, the Dow and S&P’s strong finish to the year still can’t overshadow their horrendous 2008. Down 33.8% on the year, the Dow had its worst showing since 1931 and the S&P, which was down 38.5%, had its poorest performance since 1937.

Here’s how the 10 S&P 500 sectors ended the year:

Financials -56.95%
Materials -47.05%
Tech -43.68%
Industrials -41.52%
Energy -35.93%
Cons. Discretionary -34.72%
Telecom -33.61%
Utilities -31.55%
Healthcare -24.48%
Cons. Staples -17.66%

Out with the Old, In with the New:

Three financials depart the S&P 500 following today’s trading, and as expected, volume in these companies spiked at the close with the index’s rebalancing. Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, and National City will be replaced by SCANA , Owens-Illinois , and FLIR Systems — all three of which have market caps under $5 billion. The three departing financials are each being acquired in pending deals that should close in early in the New Year.

Happy New Year to all!


Questions? Comments?