The Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index of 30 blue-chip U.S. stocks, finished 2011 with a gain of 5.5 percent, the third consecutive year that the bellwether index has finished in positive territory.
Taken together — from the beginning of 2009’s trading through yesterday’s final 2011 session — The Dow is up 39.21%.
McDonald’s, IBM and Pfizer all gained more than 20% this year.
IBM Corp. (up 25.29%) and Pfizer Inc. (23.59%) closed 2011 as the Dow’s second- and third-leading performers, respectively.
Home Depot Inc. (up 19.91%) and Kraft Foods Inc. (up 18.57%) rounded out the Dow’s top five 2011 performers.
The S&P 500, the main gauge of broad market performance, closed the year nearly dead even with its mark at the year’s opening.