The cruelest month

Five markets that had a truly ugly April

May 1, 2014
May 1, 2014

April is in the books. US and European stocks did well, with the S&P 500 up 0.6% and the Europe Stoxx 600 up more than 1%. On the other hand, Japan and China did poorly. The Nikkei was down 3.5% and the Shanghai composite fell 0.3%.

1. Greece

 

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With Greece’s return to the bond market complete, there’s little good news to look forward to.(Reuters/John Kolesidis)

Greece’s Athens Exchange general index, known as the Athex, was one of the worst performers of April, falling 7.8%. Basically, the market sold off sharply early in the month, after the country was able to successfully tap global investors in a bond offering. There seems to be little else in the way of good news on the horizon for the embattled economy.

2. Russia

 

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Russia’s Ukrainian adventures have had repercussions.(Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

The ongoing Ukrainian crisis weighed on shares as investors feared the impact of further sanctions from US and European authorities. The benchmark Micex was down 4.4% in April.

3. US Small Caps

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Some caps are smaller than others.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

US small-capitalization stocks had been surging for months, before subsiding in the general cooling-off period for US momentum shares in recent months. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap companies fell 3.9% in April, as the momentum trade seemed to be running out of gas.

4. Japan

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There’s always next month.(AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

The Nikkei fell 3.5% with the stronger yen. The strength of the currency was seen as another sign that investors are skeptical that Abenomics will be successful in pushing the country back to robust growth.

5. Nasdaq Composite

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The tech sector was a dog during the month.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a harsh selloff shook the tech sector in April. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 2%. It’s now in the red for the year.

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