Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished lower Friday and pretty much where they started 2011, as investors blew off the year and stayed largely on the sidelines, making plans for 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.59%, while the S&P 500 index was off 0.43% and the Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.32% on Friday.
In Europe, yields on Italian debt continue sky high at over 7%, fueling fears the European debt crisis is far from over.
In 2012, Italy will go to the bond market to raise EUR450 billion, according to Reuters, which investors view as quite a large sum for a country already battling debt burdens.
Also out of Europe, Spain reported that its deficit will hit 8% of total economic output, up from analyst forecasts for 6%.
Furthermore, fears that China might not avoid a hard landing as its economy eases up from a once red-hot pace have investors bracing for more uncertainty and volatility in 2012.
Leading U.S. losers included IBM, which was down 1.24%, Intel, down 1.22% and Boeing, down 1.03%
Leading gainers included Bank of America, up 1.83%, Hewlett-Packard, up 0.55%, and AT&T, up 0.23%.
European shares rose as well.
France's CAC 40 rose 1.03%, Germany's DAX rose 0.85%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.10%.
Trading was relatively quiet ahead of the New Year's Day holidays.
On Monday, markets will be closed as no market-moving data will hit the wire until Wednesday, when France releases consumer spending figures.