2015 Market Year in Review: Oil, China and Interest Rates – Oh My

Oil prices, China’s stock market and interest rates. That pretty much sums up the focal points of the markets in 2015. Interest in the three waxed and waned throughout the year, leading to significant short-term volatility in the U.S. markets.  

Things really heated up in August, with a big sell off, followed by an increase and another sharp decline in September and then a surprising rally in October. Surprising, because October has historically been a rough month for U.S. markets.

What did it all add up to? By year’s end, the S&P 500 market ended fairly close to where it started. It felt a little bit like driving around the block while dodging potholes, jaywalkers and other cars trying to run you off the road. When all of the excitement ended, you were right back in the same place.

“What we can take from all of this is that long-term investors shouldn’t overreact to the day-to-day news,” said Joe Correnti, senior vice president of brokerage product at Scottrade. “What might seem like something big today typically looks fairly insignificant when viewed through the prism of a long-term investor."

Here is a by-the-numbers review of some of the key economic, market and business stories (so far) of 2015: 

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