Filmed and produced by Gregory Bobillot. Edited by Donell Newkirk.
It has been an exciting and tumultuous year on Wall Street. To get into the holiday spirit, we're going to talk about which areas of the market have been nice to investors this year and which have been naughty. Let's get the bad news out of the way first. It was not a good year for hedge funds. Figures from eVestment show the group down nearly 3 per cent year to date, lagging the S&P 500 in the worst year since 2011.
Cryptocurrency scrooges are feeling vindicated. After last year's meteoric rise, the price of Bitcoin collapsed in 2018. Facebook's stock suffered on concerns about privacy for its subscribers and the future growth of the company. On one especially rough day, Facebook shares lost more than $120bn, the largest one-day value destruction of any listed company in US history. For the year, holders of the shares are looking at a loss of nearly 20 per cent.
Now, who's been nice to investors? While the broad S&P 500 sits essentially flat for the year, the healthcare sector is up about 11 per cent, the best performer in the benchmark. Part of the interest came as investors looked for areas that offered the potential for growth when they sold tech holdings. 2018 was really a year when cannabis investing moved much more into the mainstream. One Canadian producer called Tilray even went public on the Nasdaq. And cigarette maker Altria paid nearly $2bn for a stake in Canadian marijuana company Cronos.
No recap of 2018 would be complete without a mention of Tesla. It was quite a year for founder Elon Musk. Calling questions from analysts boring and boneheaded in an earnings call in May was just a prelude to what was to unfold as the year progressed. His now infamous tweet during the summer, which indicated that Tesla would be taken private, ultimately lost him the chairmanship of the company in a settlement with the SEC. Investors can put Mr Musk in the naughty camp and the SEC in the nice. Happy holidays.