Like others, I was watching the S&P 500 Index and wondering if it was going to close green or red on the year. The close on December 31, 2010 was 1257.64 and Friday we closed at 1257.60. (Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me?) After all was said and done, the bottom line for 2011 showed what it was-- an exercise in futility. Yes, the DJIA was up 5.5% on the year but most traders know that price-weighted index is just window dressing for the tourists. For the broad market, the S&P 500 is the real deal. The NASDAQ Composite was down 1.8% while the NASDAQ 100 with its heavy weighting (nearly 15%) in Apple (AAPL) was up 2.7%.

Were there trading opportunities throughout the year? You bet, but even during those periods volatility was so high even day-trading was a challenge for all but the HFTs.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2012 if you like more of the same. No doubt we'll be revisiting the eurozone problems over and over again. Then we have poor economic growth to contend with and perhaps some flattening of earnings growth. We'll have plenty of political theater to deal with. It's a long list brother.

There wasn't any news to speak of Friday other than to wave bye-bye to 2011.

Volume was unsurprisingly light while breadth per the WSJ was slightly negative.

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