Stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, ends the year just as it started. But stock market in fourth quarter staged an impressive rally, which could set the tone for 2012.
Stock market futures in US edge up as tensions ease over Kim Jong Il's passing. Asia markets close lower, but stock market in Germany, Britain, and France recover.
The Dow rose 46 points to close at 12196.37 as optimism about a European debt crisis summit rose and fell
Stock market prices in Europe and much of Asia are buoyed as Merkel and Sarkozy meet in Paris to discuss closer political, economic union. But the stock market in China fall on its worsening economic outlook.
Stocks advanced strongly as traders await fresh action to solve Europe's debt crisis. Belgian budget agreement and report of IMF help for Italy help ease negative pressure on European stocks.
European politicians reacted angrily and financial markets slid after Greek Prime Minister Papandreou stunned Europe with the announcement of a Greek referendum on latest aid package.
Stocks drop 1 percent or more on major European indexes because of concerns about Italian debt. Japan limits losses with yen intervention. US stocks expected to open lower.
Stock futures down slightly for the Dow, S&P. But NASDAQ stock futures rise as Asia and Europe post gains.