(BAC) Stock Market News for January 3, 2012 – Market News

On the last trading day of the year, US markets witnessed low volumes and muted activity as investors seemed reluctant to make any major moves on Friday. The “Santa rally” continued into the day but barely made any impact on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial average (DJIA) lost 0.57% to close at 12,217.56. The Standard & Poor 500 was down 0.4% to 1,257.60 by the end of the day. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.33% to 2,605.15. The fear gauge CBOE volatility index closed above 23. On the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Amex and Nasdaq, consolidated volumes were at 4.07 billion shares compared to the daily average of 7.84 billion shares this year. For every four stocks that declined on the NYSE, three gained while on the Nasdaq for every three stocks that fell two stocks gained.

The European debt crisis that plagued the markets last year will continue to worry investors in the coming months. The last trading day saw very low activity with many investors choosing to stay away owing to Christmas and New Year holidays. Overall, the year has been a hard one for investors with the major indexes registering low performances. The S&P 500 Index remained almost unchanged as 2011 drew to a close. The Dow Industrials, on the other hand had gained 5.5% for the year while Nasdaq lost 1.8%.

The year was witness to various news and situations which shook the markets and kept investors on their toes. With the US losing its triple-A credit rating and the European debt crisis remaining unresolved, markets were in a constant state of apprehension and anxiety for most of the year barring a few occasional breaks, ushered in by some positive news.  These positives did not amount to much as the year end performance of the major US indexes has proved to be disappointing.

The financial sector was among the worst losers in 2011 with a decrease of more than 18%. Shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) plunged by 58.3% and 21.6% respectively in 2011. On Friday, however, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was up by 1.83% while JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) was down by 0.51%.

Among stocks that gained in 2011, Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) happened to be the only S&P stock to double its stock rise with an increase of 100.5% while El Paso Corp (NYSE:EP) gained 93.1%. However, on Friday Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) was down 1.36% while El Paso (NYSE:EP) was up 0.45%. Among the Dow components, McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) emerged as the biggest winner with a gain of 31% this year though it fell by 0.48% on Friday.

As trading commences this new year on Tuesday, with Christmas and New Year Celebrations out of the way investors will be back on track and volumes will perhaps show  better momentum this week. Some major reports are also scheduled for the week, including ISM Manufacturing Index, Initial Claims and Unemployment Rate.


BANK OF AMER CP (BAC): Free Stock Analysis Report

CABOT OIL & GAS (COG): Free Stock Analysis Report

EL PASO CORP (EP): Free Stock Analysis Report

JPMORGAN CHASE (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report

MCDONALDS CORP (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report

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