Fittingly, a record-breaking 2013 finished with one last record-breaking day: on the last day of the year, the Dow and the S&P 500 finished with their largest gains in over a decade, while stocks like Netflix finished 2013 with triple-digit year-to-date gains.
The great bull market of 2013 lived up to its name on New Year’s Eve, with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 closing in the green across the board. The Dow closed at a record-high 16,576.66, for a 72-point or 0.44% daily gain. The index is up 26% for the year, its largest annual gain in 18 years. The S&P 500 closed Tuesday trading at a record-high 1,848.36, for a 7-point or 0.4% daily gain; year-to-date, the index has gained 30%, its best annual growth in 16 years. And while the Nasdaq did not close at a record high, it still finished 2013 trading with a gain, closing Tuesday up 22 points, or 0.54%, for a final tally of 4,176.59. This represents a whopping 33% gain in 2013.
The much-maligned gold, on the other hand, finished the year pretty much as expected: on a low note. February futures of the commodity closed at $1,202.30 an ounce on Tuesday, for a 28% year-over-year loss. This is the metal’s first yearly loss since 2000 and the largest loss in nearly 30 years. While the outlook for gold in 2014 is mixed, there are some investors who are optimistic, predicting that the Fed’s taper could lead to gold reclaiming its spot as a safe haven for investors.
Much like the broader markets, some of 2013′s biggest equities finished New Year’s Eve trading with both headline buzz and daily gains. Here’s a look at how some of the most-talked-about stocks finished out the year:
Twitter: The social media site’s initial public offering may not have been the largest of the year in terms of deal size — that honor goes to oil pipeline company Plains GP Holdings, which had a $2.8 billion IPO in October — but it was certainly the buzziest, and the stock’s performance has dominated our attention ever since. However, Twitter shares have dipped in recent days, falling below $60 per share on Monday after hitting $74 per share last week, and a Pew study released on Monday revealed that just 18% of online adults use Twitter, while 71% of online adults are users of Twitter competitor Facebook. The stock recovered a bit on the last trading day of 2013, finishing Tuesday trading at $63.65 per share for a 5.2% daily gain. Twitter is closing 2013 with more-than 34% growth.
Netflix: The video streaming site made a splash in 2013 with its original programming — Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards, the latter of which netted an Emmy award for directing — and ended the year on an upswing. On Monday, the company announced that it is ending its shareholder rights plan, a poison pill it adopted in November of 2012 in order to protect itself from activist investor Carl Icahn; on Tuesday, Netflix said that CEO Reed Hastings is getting a 50% pay bump and that it is testing a $6.99 monthly subscription plan, which would be available for one screen only (versus the existing $7.99 per-month two-screen subscription). Netflix closed Tuesday trading at $368.17, for a daily gain of 0.32% and a year-to-date bump of nearly 300%.
Apple: The Tim Cook-helmed company made headlines on New Year’s Eve with its announcement that it has never worked with the NSA on “backdoors” that would allow hackers to better retrieve information from its iPhones. Apple stock, which had a mixed 2013, closed at $561.02 per share on Tuesday afternoon, a daily gain of 1.2%; the company is closing 2013 just 1% than it began the year.