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US Gets the Gold in Market Olympics

Despite the sharp volatility in 2011, U.S. stocks are on track to close the year ahead of other developed countries.

Tom Grill | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

The Standard & Poor's 500 is down about -0.6 percent for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 5 percent. That compares to a 27 percent drop for Italy's FTSE MIB index, 19 percent decline for France's CAC 40 and 18 percent fall for Japan's Nikkei, to name a few.

Many of the world's markets posted sharp declines in 2011 on concerns over slow economic growth, rising debtlevels, high unemploymentand inflation .

In fact, the FTSE CNBC Global 300 index is on track to close the year down nearly 8 percent.

Emerging markets have not been immune to the widespread losses. Brazil's Bovespa is currently down 18 percent in 2011. Similarly, Russia's average is down 22 percent, while India's market posted a loss of 23 percent.

The one outcast of the group: Venezuela, up 79 percent. One of the reasons Venezuela's market is performing so well is not so much due to economic growth but inflation (around 26 percent), according to Chris Sheridan, Senior Editor at Financial Sense, an educational website. "When your currency continues to weaken, the price of things skyrocket (including stock prices) giving the appearance of productivity and economic health," he wrote back in August.

Below is a look at some of the major global indices and how they have performed so far this year.



Dino Neral contributed to this report.

bythenumbers.cnbc.com