Stocks in the United States, as measured by the S&P 500 index, ended 2011 in positive territory. The 2.1% return for the year was roughly equivalent to the dividend yield from the index. This means, that without the dividends from the companies in the S&P 500, the index would have been flat for the year.
The low single digit return on the S&P 500 meant that the index was one of the best performing country indexes in 2011. One of the only other major country equity indexes to eek out a gain in 2011 was Malaysia. Below is a chart of a majority of the larger equity markets from around the globe.
A handful of nations with very small equity markets managed to end the year in positive territory, including but not limited to, Venezuela, Pakistan, Jamaica and Botswana. These indexes are all dominated by only a few companies and therefore were not included.