Last year was admittedly a tough one for emerging markets. A number of currencies were under considerable pressure, with some of them falling to record or near-record lows against the strong U.S. dollar. Global trade tensions, threats of sanctions, rising U.S. interest rates and higher oil prices--before they began to crater in October, that is--also contributed to the selloff. From its 52-week high set in January 2018, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index sunk into bear market territory by the end of October.
Domestic airlines weren't exempt from the rout that hit stocks in December, the market's worst month since the Great Recession. Shares of all four major U.S. carriers--American, Delta, United Continental, and Southwest--saw double-digit losses. Delta ended December down 17.8 percent, its worst month since October 2009, when it gave back 20.3 percent.