Dow Finishes 2011 In the Black Despite Massive Bank of America Slide

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped less than a percent on Friday in the last trading day of 2011. The blue-chip index finishes the year with a year-to-date gain of about 5.5 percent, and 18 of its 30 component stocks finished higher for the year. The Dow’s biggest winner was fast food giant McDonald’s, whose share price rose some 31 percent on the year, just edging out IBM (up 25 percent YTD) for biggest gain on the year.

The biggest gainer on the Dow during Friday’s year-ending session was Bank of America, which gained about 1.8 percent. But that’s where the good news about BofA ends, however, as the stock was 2011’s biggest loser on the Dow as its shares plunged some 58 percent on the year. Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa suffered the second biggest decline, though its loss was a much smaller 44 percent.

Bank of America has had a forgettable year. In addition to seeing its stock price plummet, the bank also lost the distinction of largest US bank to JP Morgan Chase in the third quarter, and kicked off a controversy used by the Occupy Wall Street protestors when it announced a $5 monthly fee for customers who use their debit cards. While the bank has since scrapped the fee, the announcement caused an uproar among the bank’s customers, and thousands closed their accounts and deposited their money at another bank.