Today's Close: The Best and Worst Of 2006

As we end for today, we can safely report it's been a banner year for stocks--by just about everyone's measuring stick. Bonds didn't do so bad either. Blue chips were certainly the big standouts of 2006. The Dow Jones industrial average--the index of 30 of the nation’s biggest companies, hit record levels dozens of times since closing at 12,011.73 on Oct. 19. It's since surged to an intra-day high of 12,529.87. All this--despite a housing slump in the U.S. and a major inflation watch by the Federal Reserve with interest rate hikes.

So--the indexes are heading toward a double-digit gain for the year. The Dow Jones industrials are up 16.68 percent, the Nasdaq up 10.17 percent, and the S&P up 14.04 percent. Analysts say they haven't seen this type of market upswing since the dot-com boom.

As we leave you for 2006 (we're back here on Tuesday--see below) here's a look at some of the winners and losers for the year.

Best Dow performers--

GM up 60%

AT&T up 46%

HP up 44%

Disney up 44%

Exxon Mobil up 37%

Worst Dow performers:

3M up 1%

Alcoa up 1%

Wal-Mart down 1%

Home Depot down 1%

And the worst of the year Intel --down 18%

And for the Nasdaq--Akamai Technologies was the big winner--up 169% (really). Bringing up the rear were SiriusSatellite and XM Satellite --both down 47%

The markets are closed (as are all government offices) on Tuesday--January 2nd--to honor the passing of former President Gerald Ford. But we'll have live coverage throughout the day of the funeral services in Washington DC. He will be buried at his presidential library in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday. We will continue some regular programming on Tuesday with a look ahead to 2007--but only at appropriate times. We'll see you then. A happy and safe New Year wish to all of you from all of us.