The 2020 trading year saw record volatility, record highs, record lows, and everything in between—as illustrated in the charts below.

From a trading and investment perspective, 2020 has been one of the most memorable in history. 

Today’s post represents a year in review in chart form—ideal for any market participant reflecting on the year that was, or brainstorming on the year to come.

2020’s Top Charts 

1. Market volatility set a record in 2020, with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) notching a new all-time closing high of 82.69 on March 16.

Source: SeekingAlpha

2. Crude oil futures traded negative for the first time in history.

Source: New York Times
Source: NaturalGasIntel

3. The unemployment rate in the United States spiked to 14.7% in Aprilthe highest level on record since data was first kept in the 1940s. 

4. The U.S. Federal Reserve reduced interest rates to zero once again in 2020 (via federal funds rate).

5. The S&P 500 set a new all-time high in 2020, as did the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrials. 

6. Tesla (TSLA) shares skyrocketed roughly 700% in 2020, and in the process may have ushered in a new era of electric vehicle (EV) dominance.

7. Gold prices surged to a new record high in 2020over $2,000/ounce. 


8. The cost of solar-powered electricity dropped to the lowest levels ever observed.

9. Vaccine manufacturers like BioNTech (BNTX), Moderna (MRNA) and Novavax (NVAX) rallied in epic fashion on the wings of promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates (MRNA 2020 stock chart pictured below).

10. Bitcoin rallied to a new all-time high, well above $20,000/coin.

Bonus Chart: Before running into regulatory delays, China-based Ant Financial’s initial public offering (IPO) was expected to be the largest in global history at $34.5 billion.

To follow everything moving the markets around the holidays, as well as the outlook for 2021, readers are encouraged to tune into TASTYTRADE LIVE (weekdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time) when scheduling allows.

This December, give the gift of Luckbox and get a free Luckbox T-shirt! See SUBSCRIBE or UPGRADE TO PRINT (upper right) for more information.

Sage Anderson is a pseudonym. The contributor has an extensive background in trading equity derivatives and managing volatility-based portfolios as a former prop trading firm employee. The contributor is not an employee of Luckbox, tastytrade or any affiliated companies. Readers can direct questions about any of the topics covered in this blog post, or any other trading-related subject, to