2010 ends softly but 2011 could start with bang

Good day! No one can argue that 2010 was a good year for the markets. All three of the major indexes posted double digit gains and commodities also shared the spotlight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) ended the year higher by 11%, while the S&P 500 ($SPX) rose 12.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) gained 16.9%. Meanwhile, crude oil rose 15.2%, gold was higher by 29.7%, and silver jumped 83.7% to 30-year highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) had a gain of 7.80 points, or 0.07%, and closed at 11,577.51 on Friday. It finished 2010 higher by 11.02%. The strongest stocks in the Dow last year were Caterpillar (CAT) (+64.34%), DuPont (DD) (+48.14%), McDonald's (MCD) (+22.93%), Home Depot (HD) (+21.19%), and General Electric (GE) (+20.89%). The weakest were Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) (-18.27%), Cisco Systems (CSCO) (-15.50%), Bank of America (BAC) (-11.42%), Microsoft (MSFT) (-8.43%), and Alcoa (AA) (-4.53%).

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The S&P 500 ($SPX) fell 0.24 point or 0.02%, and closed at 1,257.64. The index ended the year higher by 12.78%. The top performers were Cummins (CMI) (+139.88%), American Intl. Group (AIG) (+92.19%), Zions Bancorp (ZION) (+88.85%), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) (+88.22%), and Akamai Technologies (AKAM) (+85.67%). The weakest were Dean Foods (DF) (-51.00%), H&R Block (HRB) (-47.92%), Apollo Group (APOL) (-34.71%), Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) (-32.06%), and Pulte Group (PHM) (-24.80%).

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session lower by 10.11 points, or 0.38%, on Friday and it closed at 2,652.87. The Nasdaq-100 ended the year higher by 19.22%. The top gainers were Netflix (NFLX) (+218.93%), F5 Networks (FFIV) (145.72%), Baidu (BIDU) (+134.73%), Illumina (ILMN) (+106.45%), and Akamai Tech. (AKAM) (+85.67%). The weakest were Apollo Group (APOL) (-34.81%), Micron Technologies (MU) (-24.05%), Warner Chilcott (WCRX) (-20.76%), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) (-18.25%), and NVIDIA (NVDA) (-17.56%).

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