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2015: A Disappointing Year for Investors

21yuan-600As the stock markets closed for the last day of this year, investors were happy to see the year come to a close. The market closed at 0.7 percent decline from the beginning of the year on 2nd January. Investors declared the year as one of the most disappointing as the stock markets never seemed to rise and were always on the decline compared to past trends.

session-6-stock-market-ms-nice-4th6th-grade-wednes-55Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer of Commonwealth Financial Network announced that this year was the first down year since 2011. This year was one without much volatility as there were no significant price movements this year compared to other years. The Dow industrials closed this year with a 5 percent drop its first in seven years. Investors, who followed leading trends this year, would have ended at prices lower than what they started at the beginning of the year. One major sector that performed badly this year is the energy sector. With the global drop in crude oil prices, the energy sector went down by 27 percent this year, making several investors lose their hard earned money.

However, technical giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google managed to provide returns for their investors. All these four companies ended the year with double digit gains with Amazon and Netflix gaining more than double of their last year’s gains. Bonds too fared poorly this year and closed at 0.4 percent lesser than last year.

However, analysts are hopeful that next year will be more positive. According to reports, improvements in the unemployment rate and increase in individual incomes, 2016 is set off to an upward path and the US economy continues to get back on its feet slowly but surely.

Shopping Trends of Consumers for the Holiday Season


Consumer sales still on a slump even as the holiday season begins. The sales of consumer goods especially auto products continued on a decline for the fourth month. Analysts had predicted a slight increase in the consumer sales for the months of October and November which is usually when holiday season shopping is at a peak. But the predictions turned out false with consumer sales still on a decline even this month.

supermarket_shopper-250x250The automobile sector is the sector to be hit the worst due to drop in consumer sales. It reported a growth of 1.4 percent for September and the sales for October dropped to 0.4 percent even with the motor manufacturers hopeful to exceed sales of September. Sales of consumer products excluding automobiles, gasoline and construction materials rose up by 0.1 percent compared to September. Sales at electronic stores fell by 0.4 percent and sales at clothing stores was stagnant with no significant increase or decrease of that of September. However, online stores reported an increase in sales by 0.4 percent. These trends are an indication of the way consumers shop during the holiday season.

Forbes Reveals List of World’s Highest Paid Actresses

NEwRkfgWz6bJzE_1_bForbes Magazine revealed the list of the world’s highest paid actresses for this year. Jenifer Lawrence leads the list this year with $1 million more than last year’s number one position holder Sandra Bullock. The Hunger Games star has moved up one position this year from last year’s second spot. Scarlett Johansson of the Avengers comes in second followed by Melissa McCarthy of Spy fame. New comers to this year’s list include Bingbing Fan of XMen: Days of Future Past fame and Amanda Seyfried. While other actresses like Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Jenifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie continue to occupy this year’s list too with their revenue from several brand endorsements. Given below is an extract from this year’s list with the actresses and their revenues for the last year.
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals A6Jenifer Lawrence – $52,000,000
Scarlett Johansson $35,500,000
Melissa McCarthy $23,000,000
Bingbing Fan $21,000,000
Jennifer Aniston $16,500,000
Julia Roberts $16,000,000
Angelina Jolie $15,000,000
Reese Witherspoon $15,000,000
Anne Hathaway $12,000,000
Kristen Stewart $12,000,000
Cameron Diaz $11,000,000
Gwyneth Paltrow $9,000,000
Meryl Streep $8,000,000
Amanda Seyfried $8,000,000
Sandra Bullock $8,000,000
Emma Stone $6,500,000
Mila Kunis $6,500,000
Natalie Portman $6,000,000