Sentiment in the international equity markets was positive at the beginning of 2011. The EURO STOXX 50, for instance, reached its 2011 high of 3,068 points in February. The devastating earthquake in Japan, however, caused markets to fall, a trend that did not reverse until companies reported surprisingly positive first quarter figures. The DAX peaked at 7,527 points on 2 May. In the second half of the year, the national debt crisis in the euro zone dominated the equity markets. The DAX and EURO STOXX 50 sank to annual lows of 5,072 and 1,995 points respectively. Equity markets only began to recover towards the end of the year amidst a persistently volatile environment. The DAX ended the year at 5,898 points, a loss of 14.7%. This was somewhat better than the EURO STOXX 50, which fell 17.5% year-on-year. The Dow Jones Index was up 5.6%, despite sustained weakness in the US economy.