2009 was a year of extremes on the stock markets. At the start of the year, investors were fleeing from shares in droves and investing in traditionally conservative investment products. Investor fear pushed the DAX down to an annual low of 3,666 points on 6 March – a loss in value of 23.8% on the 2008 closing value. Starting in the spring, sentiment on the capital markets gradually began improving. Good news from the business community, especially the banking sector, gave the markets reason to hope. It became apparent that policymakers were going to come to the aid of the financial world as never before. The first leading indicators were likewise positive, and the DAX climbed back over the 5,000-point mark. The index drifted back down briefly in the summer prior to rebounding in mid-July to close the year at nearly 6,000 points and a gain of approximately 24% on the previous year’s closing value. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 21.1% and the Dow Jones rose 18.8%.