Key moments that rocked — and then repaired — the stock market in 2020

The year 2020 will be forever etched in the minds of citizens across the globe.

The equity market wasn’t the main conduit for the response to the pandemic and social unrest that emerged, but it was one way that Wall Street interpreted the pace of the rapidly spreading contagion and the human ingenuity that rapidly brought about remedies and cures to combat COVID-19.

Here are some of the key moments of a year that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.65% end with an annual gain of about 7%, despite plunging into a bear market eight months ago. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.64% booked a nearly 16% return in 2020, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.14% rose 43.4% and the small-capitalization Russell 2000 index RUT, -0.26% climbed 19% on the year.

FactSet
Quotes of the year:

“The coronavirus outbreak will be temporary and will not change the long-term improvement of China’s economy,” said Pan Gongsheng, a PBOC vice governor, at a news briefing in February.

“I tell investors to hang in there, because this is the opportunity,” Diane Jaffee, senior portfolio manager at TCW told MarketWatch in late February.

“Monetary policy is an unlikely cure for the coronavirus,” said Mike LaBella, head of investment strategy at QS Investors, a Legg Mason affiliate, in a March statement as the Fed conducted its first emergency rate cut in response to the coronavirus outbreak, eight days before the WHO declared the novel strain of coronavirus a pandemic.