The following is a list of the five biggest gainers and the five biggest losers in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in 2012.
— PulteGroup. Signs that a housing market rebound is under way boosted this home builder's stock 187.8 percent to $18.16.
— Sprint Nextel. The wireless carrier sold a 70 percent stake to Japanese cellphone company Softbank Corp. for $20.1 billion. The stock jumped 142.2 percent to $5.67.
— Whirlpool. Surging profits at the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based appliance maker sent its stock surging 114.4 percent to $101.75.
— Expedia. Profits rose sharply at the online travel agency and the company paid a special dividend. Expedia gained 111.7 percent to $61.14.
— Bank of America. A poster child of the financial excesses of the last decade, the bank accelerated a cost-cutting plan and is gradually reducing the amount of cash it set aside to cover bad loans. The stock gained 108.8 percent to $11.61.
— Apollo Group. The for-profit education company behind the University of Phoenix got a 'D' from investors. Slumping enrollments and tighter regulatory scrutiny pushed the stock down 61.2 percent to $20.92.
— Advanced Micro Devices. Sales of AMD's chips declined along with falling PC sales as consumers moved to tablets and smartphones. Its stock fell 55.6 percent to $2.40.
— Best Buy. The consumer-electronics retailer struggled to hold onto market share in the face of tough competition from discounters and online retailers. Founder Richard Schulze wants to buy the company back. The stock dropped 49.3 percent to $11.85.
— Hewlett-Packard. Where to start? The fallout from a disastrous acquisition combined with a faltering PC and printer business hit the stock hard. H-P slumped 44.7 percent to $14.25. Continued...