Before 2012 gets too far in the rear-view mirror, below is a snapshot of the S&P 500's performance throughout the year. In the charts below, we break out the S&P 500's change by month and even day of the week. In the second chart, you can see the daily change of the index, and it's interesting to see how low the daily volatility was as the market surged higher in the first quarter. Volatility really started to pick up in the second quarter as the euro crisis took over the news cycle, and then we had multiple big up days throughout the month of June after the low was made.
As the market surged from June through mid-September, daily volatility quieted down again, but then we saw some big down days in early November following the election. We ended December pretty much right where we ended October, but there were certainly a lot of ups and downs over the final two months of the year.
Happy New Year from Bespoke!