The Associated Press
Stocks ended 2021 on a weak note Friday, but still managed to end the year with big gains. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3%. It wound up with a yearly gain of 26.9%, nearly as big as its gain two years ago, just before the pandemic set in. The S&P 500 notched its latest record high on Wednesday, its 70th of the year. Company profits came in strong this year as the economy reopened, but the fast-spreading omicron variant and the looming end of the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies are overhangs for investors going into the new year.