In a yawn-inducing finish, 2011 closed out almost exactly flat with where it started. With such a low hurdle, it was easy for a positive start in 2012 to leave investors with a better gain in the first week of the year than they got from all of last year. The week-one gains didn't come without positive economic news, including a better-than-expected jobs report that showed 200,000 payroll additions and dragged the unemployment rate down to 8.5%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Top 3 Performing Sectors
Russell 3000 Sector
Weekly Price Change
Month-to-Date Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Dec. 30-Jan. 6. Monthly price change is Dec. 30-Jan. 6.
Health care was a lagging sector, but don't tell that to Dendreon
Top 3 Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Dec. 30-Jan. 6.
Also among the week's top performers were Netflix
Biopharma InterMune, meanwhile, wowed investors when it released preliminary sales results for its drug Esbriet. Sales have been brisk in Germany since the drug's mid-September launch, and the company is looking to add the France, Spain, Italy, and U.K. markets in 2012.
That's it for this week's top-performers recap. If you're looking for some ideas for strong outperformers in the year ahead, The Motley Fool has created a brand new free report titled "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." In it, my fellow Fools reveal a top pick that's poised for explosive growth ahead. Get instant access -- it's free.
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