NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Crack open the champagne. The markets have wrapped up for the year.
And what a year it was with benchmark indexes nearly wiping out year-to-date gains before recouping them and then some all within the past two months.
The S&P 500 closed with double-digit percentage gains, up nearly 12%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 8%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 14%.
"The economy entering the New Year is in better shape than previously thought and is likely to escape a serious downturn in 2015," Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Rockwell Capital, wrote in a research note. "We reiterate our positive outlook for stocks in 2015, as expanding U.S. growth remains favorable for growing corporate earnings."
Oil prices dominated business news headlines over the past several months, playing a key hand in determining the winners and losers for 2014.
Airlines, the beneficiary of plunging gasoline prices, were the best performers of the year, helping to boost the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN) more than 34% over 2014. Southwest Airlines (LUV) was the best performer of the S&P 500, gaining nearly 130%, while Delta Air Lines (DAL) surged 82%.
Drilling companies fared the worst with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF (XOP) down more than 30%. Among the worst performers, Transocean (RIG) plunged 63%, Diamond Offshore (DO) dropped 35%, and Noble Corp (NE) tanked 55%.