STOCKS FLAT: Despite a tumultuous ride, the S&P 500 index closed nearly unchanged for 2011. It ended at 1,257.60 Friday, just 0.04 point below where it started the year.
BEST OF THE BAD: U.S. stocks delivered little, but other markets did even worse, including ones in fast-growing economies. Brazil's Bovespa index fell 18 percent in 2011. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 20 percent.
PLAYING IT SAFE PAYS: Stocks of one of the most conservative industries _ utilities _ rose 15 percent. That was the biggest gain for the S&P's ten sectors. Consumer staples were up 11 percent.