The New Year


2011 was a mixed year for all asset classes. As gold enjoyed its mercurial rise (and subsequent fall), stocks ended the year mixed.

The S&P 500 closed at 1257, essentially ending the year flat. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 6% for the year, declining on Friday to 12,217. The Nasdaq Composite closed down 1.8% for the year, its first yearly loss.

As far as volatility was concerned, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) was at 23, up 3% on Monday. It remains to be seen whether traders are truly concerned about the future of Europe and other possible crises in 2012.

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