American markets are poised to end 2010 with pretty remarkable returns considering how bleak things looked as recently as September. Add in dividends, factor out inflation, and U.S. stocks, broadly speaking, were a good place to invest in 2010. Indeed, one of the broadest measures of U.S. equity performance, the S&P U.S. Broad Market Index, is on track to post a total return of 17% in 2010.

The bullish and bearish forces acting on stocks here at home all year come into even sharper relief when we look at the best- and worst-performing stock markets in the world for 2010. Anything tied to China, the driver of the global recovery with its insatiable demand for commodities, outperformed. Meanwhile, the eurozone debt crisis crushed equities across the Continent and beyond.

Philippines First, Greece Worst

Emerging economies in close proximity to China took three of the top five spots in 2010, according to S&P BMI Global Indexes. By this broad measure, the Philippines was the best-performing equity market in the world this year, returning 58% as of Dec. 24. Thailand and Malaysia likewise benefited from their satellite positions to China. Meanwhile, stocks in the Pacific Rim countries of Peru and Chile soared on record-high prices for gold, silver, copper and other commodities (see chart below).

On the other side of the ledger, the worst markets were the stars of the European debt crisis. Four of the five members of the so-called PIIGS of Europe -- Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain -- hosted the worst performing equity markets of 2010. Hungary, which had been cooking its books a la Greece, nudged Ireland (the fifth member of the PIIGS), out of the top five. Ireland's stock market, for the record, posted a loss of 8.3% as of Dec. 24, according to S&P (see chart below).

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April 19 2011 at 4:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Robert and Lisa are selling Glenn Beck T-Shirts in the lobby today ..His shirts are big sellers...his whackadoodle paranoia is a tough sell however...

January 03 2011 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

China and its fast emerging neighbors- the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea will soon become the world's richest and most developed countries having the biggest economies replacing countries in Western Europe and the rest in the West! Perhaps, it is time for EU to consider a Political Union similar to that of the USA, if they still want to remain relevant in the next generation.

January 02 2011 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 29 2010 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert & Lisa

With the dollar falling 30% or more at current rates, even if you can manage a 10% gain in the stock market, you're still in the red. In the meantime, if you'd bought silver a year ago, you'd be up over 100%. With the corrupt Demoncrats still controlling the white house and the senate, beholden to evil, ultra rich man George Soros pulling the strings behind the scenes, does anyone really think things will get better in the next two years?

December 29 2010 at 6:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Robert & Lisa's comment
Relevant Data

I agree 100%. There is an economic destructive relationship between the Democrats and the labor unions. The Democrats make laws that are favorable to unions and the unions in turn keep the Democrats rich and in power, no matter the consequence for the economic welfare of the country.

December 30 2010 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply