Stock market teetering on edge of a positive year


Market Snapshot for December 22, 2011 (1:31 a.m. ET, Dec. 27):

Closing Prices: DOW 12,294.00 (+124.35, +1.02%), S&P 500 1,265.33 (+11.33, +0.9%), NASDAQ 2,618.64 (+19.19, +0.74%), Nikkei 225 8,440.56 (-38.78, -0.46%), DAX 5,878.93 (+26.75, +0.46%), FTSE 5,512.70 (+55.73, +1.02%)

OIL 99.42, GOLD 1,597.40, SILVER 28.91

EURO 1.3069, YEN 77.89, BRITISH POUND 1.5636, U.S. DOLLAR INDEX 80.235

Markets Teeter on the Edge of a Positive Year

This year has been a rather uneventful one for the broad market. Most of it has been spent in a trading range with the indices constantly flirting with positive and negative territory. While the first half of the year was spent mainly in the black with retests of the zone of the year's lows, the selloff in late July and the start of August shifted the balance of power to the bears and the tables turned. Ever since, the market has been struggling to recover and finish the year in the black. And it may still succeed.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Figure 1)

This past week was a light one for trade as market participants began to dwindle thanks to the approaching holiday, but it was nevertheless a positive one as market players appeared to be entering the end of the year in good spirits despite the angst they experienced. Or perhaps they just wanted to give things a little boost to be able to show at least some gain on their books. Either way, the week ended higher by 3.6% for the Dow Jones Ind. Average ($DJI), 3.74% for the S&P 500 ($SPX), and 2.48% for the Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX). All 10 of the S&P's industry groups were positive. For the year-to-date, the Dow is up 6.19%, the S&P 500 is up 0.61%, and the Nasdaq is down 1.29%, and the Russell 2000 is down 4.59%. In other markets: crude oil is up 9.08%, gold is up 12.99%, the U.S. Dollar Index is up 1.2%, and the 10-year Treasury is down 38.58% year-to-date.

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