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2012 Stock Market Performance By the Numbers

The numbers are in, and no matter how you look at them, 2012 was a way better year for stocks than 2011.

Last year's stock market performance was particularly impressive given all the end-of-year fiscal cliff fear, pre-election uncertainty and ongoing sovereign debt problems in Europe.

2012 was a surprisingly fruitful year to be an investor. Here are some key numbers to demonstrate just how strong the stock market performance was:

  • The S&P 500 gained 13.4% , marking the benchmark U.S. index's largest annual return since 2009 and fourth-largest return in the last decade.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index was up nearly 16%. That's a vast improvement from a year ago, when the tech-heavy index fell 1.8%.
  • 128 companies went public - the second-highest IPO total in the last five years.
  • It was a good year for small cap stocks too. The Russell 2000 Index, which gauges U.S. small caps, returned 14.7% this year.
  • Despite a late-year slump, Apple ( AAPL ), the world's largest stock, gained 31% - topping $700 for the first time in its history at one point.
  • Bank of America ( BAC ) was one of the year's biggest gainers, rising more than 100%. BAC's move headlined a nice bounce-back year for the big banks. Shares of the six largest U.S. financial institutions gained an average of 40% in 2012.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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