How did stock market indices perform in 2021?

Published: December 30, 2021 at 7:00 am

In this article, we look at how 200 indices representing the stock market, bond market and other asset classes performed in 2021. This is measured with 361 days absolute return from 1st Jan 2021 to 28th Dec 2021.

Note: The following information should not be used for making investment decisions. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. We urge readers to appreciate the difference between looking at data as an analyst or curious observer and looking at data as an investor. In this article, we don the cap of a curious observer.

2021 was the year of the IPO, particularly those belonging to the small and mid cap universe. The S&P BSE SME IPO index measures the performance of the small and medium enterprises (SME) after they list. The index grew an astonishing 959% in 2021!

S&P BSE SME IPO chart showing the 959 percent growth in 2021
S&P BSE SME IPO chart showing the 959 per cent growth in 2021

The BSE IPO index returned “only” 54% in contrast!

Here are some well-known movers:


  • Nifty Smallcap 250 – TRI 58.3%
  • Nifty 200 Momentum 30 TRI 52.8%
  • Brent Crude 52.2%
  • Nifty Midcap 150 – TRI 44.6%
  • NIFTY 50 Equal Weight Index – TRI 33%
  • NIFTY 100 Equal Weight Index – TRI 31.9%
  • NIFTY 500 – TRI 29.8%
  • NIFTY NEXT 50 – TRI 29.1%
  • Nasdaq-100 28.5%
  • S&P 500 27.6%
  • NIFTY 100 – TRI 25.2%
  • NIFTY 50 – TRI 24.4%
  • Nifty 100 Quality 30 Index – TRI 20.2%
  • CRISIL Hybrid 35+65 – Aggressive Index 19%
  • Crisil 1 Yr T-Bill Index 3.4
  • Nifty 10 yr Benchmark G-Sec Index 1.2%
  • Gold-London AM (INR) -1.7%

When equal-weight indices outshine their capitalization-weighted counterparts it is a sign that actively managed mutual funds have done better. See: How did equity mutual funds perform in 2021?

If something can be inferred from this it is this: We had no idea the markets would crash in 2020 and we had no idea they would recover as they did in 2020 and continue moving up in 2021. The worst mistake one can do is wait on the sidelines for the right time to invest.

We urge readers to invest systematically in 2022 and learn to manage risk in a goal-based manner systematically. Here is a resource to get started: Basics of portfolio construction: A guide for beginners.

Here is the full list of 199 indices.

Index2021 Returns
S&P BSE SME IPO – TRI959.3
NIFTY SME EMERGE Index – TRI120.6
NIFTY DIVIDEND87.4
S&P BSE Power Index – TRI74.3
NIFTY METAL – TRI73.7
S&P BSE METAL Index – TRI72.7
S&P BSE Utilities – TRI71.7
Nifty Alpha 50 – TRI70.2
MerVal65.1
S&P BSE Industrials – TRI64.7
Nifty Tata Group 25% Cap – TRI62.9
S&P BSE Basic Material – TRI61.7
S&P BSE Small-Cap – TRI59.6
NIFTY IT – TRI59.6
Nifty Smallcap 250 – TRI58.3
S&P BSE SmallCap Select Index56.7
S&P BSE Information Technology – TRI55.6
Nifty Smallcap 100 – TRI55.4
Nifty Aditya Birla Group – TRI54.4
S&P BSE 250 Small Cap – TRI54.2
NIFTY500 Value 50 – TRI54.1
S&P BSE IPO Index – TRI54.1
S&P BSE Realty Index – TRI53.7
S&P BSE IT53.3
NIFTY REALTY – TRI53.2
Nifty 200 Momentum 30 TRI52.8
Brent Crude52.2
S&P BSE Capital Goods – TRI52.2
NIFTY COMMODITIES – TRI49.2
S&P BSE TECk Index – TRI48.9
Nifty MidSmallcap 400 Index – TRI48.6
S&P BSE MidSmallCap – TRI48.6
S&P BSE 400 MidSmallCap Index – TRI47.8
Nifty Smallcap 50 – TRI47.5
S&P BSE Enhanced Value Index47.3
S&P BSE PSU – TRI46.2
Nifty 50 TR 2x Leverage46.2
Nifty Mahindra Group – TRI46.0
Nifty Tata Group – TRI45.2
S&P BSE 150 MidCap – TRI45.0
NIFTY CPSE Index – TRI44.9
Nifty Midcap 150 – TRI44.6
S&P BSE Consumer Durables – TRI44.5
S&P BSE India Infrastructure Index44.1
Nifty Midcap 100 – TRI44.1
S&P BSE 150 MidCap43.9
NIFTY PSE – TRI43.5
NIFTY MAHINDRA42.8
Nifty 50 PR 2x Leverage42.8
Nifty Midcap 50 – TRI40.8
Nasdaq Computer40.7
NIFTY PSU BANK – TRI40.1
Nasdaq Bank39.9
ATX39.3
NIFTY ENERGY – TRI38.9
S&P BSE Telecom – TRI38.5
Nifty Midcap Liquid 15 – TRI38.0
Nifty 500 Shariah – TRI37.5
S&P BSE Mid-Cap – TRI37.2
NIFTY INFRA – TRI36.6
LIX 15 MIDCAP36.4
Nifty 50 Value 20 Index – TRI35.2
NIFTY MEDIA – TRI35.0
Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index – TRI34.7
S&P BSE 500 Shariah – TRI34.2
NIFTY MEDIA33.9
Nifty High Beta 50 – TRI33.9
NIFTY 50 Equal Weight Index – TRI33.0
S&P CPSE32.6
S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index32.5
HIGH BETA32.5
NIFTY DIV OPPS 50 – TRI32.4
S&P BSE 250 LargeMidCap 65:35 Index – TRI32.2
NIFTY 100 Equal Weight Index – TRI31.9
S&P BSE OIL & GAS Index – TRI31.6
S&P BSE GREENEX – TRI31.1
Dow Jones Trasportation Averag31.0
S&P BSE AllCap – TRI31.0
S&P BSE 250 LargeMidCap 65:3530.8
NIFTY 50 Shariah – TRI30.3
Nifty 100 ESG Index – TRI30.1
Nifty 100 Liquid 15 – TRI30.1
NIFTY100 Enhanced ESG – TRI30.0
S&P BSE 500 – TRI29.9
NIFTY 500 – TRI29.8
S&P BSE Sensex Next 50 – TRI29.4
NIFTY NEXT 50 – TRI29.1
NIFTY100 LIQ 1528.7
CAC 4028.6
S&P 10028.6
Nasdaq-10028.5
S&P BSE 250 LargeMidCap Index – TRI28.4
NIFTY Alpha Low-Volatility 30 – TRI28.2
S&P BSE Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services – TRI28.2
S&P BSE MidCap Select Index28.1
S&P BSE Energy – TRI27.7
S&P BSE 200 – TRI27.6
S&P 50027.6
NIFTY 200 – TRI27.4
S&P BSE LargeMidCap – TRI26.9
S&P BSE 100 ESG Index26.7
S&P BSE 20026.1
S&P SmallCap25.8
S&P BSE CARBONEX – TRI25.4
S&P BSE 100 – TRI25.3
S&P BSE Large Cap – TRI25.3
NIFTY 100 – TRI25.2
Nifty Shariah 25 – TRI24.9
S&P BSE Sensex 50 – TRI24.5
NIFTY SERV SECTOR – TRI24.4
NIFTY 50 – TRI24.4
NIFTY Alpha Quality Low-Volatility 30 – TRI24.1
Nifty 200 Quality 30 Index – TRI24.1
NIFTY Alpha Quality Value Low-Volatility 30 – TRI23.8
Nifty 50 Futures TR Index23.3
S&P BSE DOLLEX 20023.3
Nasdaq23.1
S&P 40022.8
SHARIAH2522.8
S&P BSE India Manufacturing Index22.5
Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index22.5
NIFTY 100 Low Volatility 30 Index – TRI22.3
Nifty Low Volatility 50 – TRI22.3
NIFTY ALPHA QTY Low-VOLAT.3022.3
NIFTY MNC – TRI22.2
S&P BSE SENSEX – TRI22.2
S&P BSE DOLLEX 10021.0
IPC20.9
Dow Jones Composite Index20.8
Nasdaq Transportation20.7
Swiss Market20.2
LOW VOLATILITY20.2
Nifty 100 Quality 30 Index – TRI20.2
CRISIL Hybrid 35+65 – Aggressive Index19.0
NIFTY  DEFTY18.7
NIFTY QUALITY LOW-VOLATILTY 3018.7
Dow Jones18.6
NIFTY CONSUMPTION – TRI18.5
BEL-2018.3
S&P BSE DOLLEX 3018.3
NYSE18.0
S&P BSE AUTO Index – TRI17.7
NIFTY AUTO – TRI17.6
S&P BSE Health Care – TRI17.0
S&P BSE Quality Index16.1
RTS Index15.5
DAX15.4
FTSE 10014.1
Nifty Financial Services – TRI13.7
S&P BSE Finance – TRI13.6
CRISIL Short Term Debt Hybrid 60+40 Fund Index13.4
Nasdaq Insurance13.4
NIFTY BANK – TRI13.1
Nasdaq Other Finance12.5
S&P BSE BANKEX – TRI12.2
Dow Jones Utility Average11.1
NIFTY FMCG – TRI10.4
Jakarta Composite10.0
CRISIL Short Term Debt Hybrid 75+25 Fund Index10.0
Nasdaq Industrial9.8
S&P BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods – TRI9.7
Straits Times9.2
Nifty Growth Sectors 15 – TRI8.5
S&P BSE FMCG7.4
NIFTY PHARMA – TRI7.1
NI157.0
NIFTY GROWTH SECTOR 157.0
CRISIL Hybrid 85+15 – Conservative Index6.9
Madrid General5.9
Nasdaq Telecommunications5.3
Nikkei 2254.5
Seoul Composite4.4
Crisil Short Term Bond Fund Index4.3
Nifty Private Bank – TRI4.2
Shanghai Composite4.1
Nifty 50 Arbitrage Index4.1
Crisil Liquid Fund Index3.6
RBI Reference Rate3.5
USD INR3.5
Crisil 1 Yr T-Bill Index3.4
Crisil 91 Day T-Bill Index3.4
Crisil Composite Bond Fund Index3.4
I-BEX (I-Sec Sovereign Bond Index)3.3
Nifty 1D Rate Index3.3
Nifty 8-13 yr G-Sec index1.9
Crisil 10 Yr Gilt Index1.2
Nifty 10 yr Benchmark G-Sec Index1.2
Nasdaq Biotechnology0.0
Gold-London AM (INR)-1.7
MCX GOLD SPOT-3.9
Gold-International-4.4
Gold-London AM-5.0
KLSE Composite-5.7
Bovespa-11.5
Hang Seng-14.7
INDIA VIX-15.8
Nifty 50 PR 1x Inverse-18.0
Nifty 50 TR 1x Inverse-18.9
S&P BSE Private Banks Index-23.1
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Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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