Stocks have ended a rocky 2010 quietly. The major indexes were little changed and trading volume was at one of its lowest levels of the year as many traders took the day off. Despite investors' concerns about the US and world economy, the S&P 500 and the Dow both rose about 14% for the year, including dividends. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, rose about 18% for the year after dividends.
At today's close, the Dow rose 8 points to 11,578. The S&P 500 fell less than a point to 1,258, and the Nasdaq composite fell 10 to 2,653. The Dow finished the year at its highest level since August 2008, before the height of the financial crisis. The S&P had its best December gain since 1991. Not that things were smooth all year. Remember the "flash crash" of May?