Investors turn to utilities, gold and dividends for stable returns as equities sink

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Surging interest in utilities

Market jitters pushed the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Total Stock Market Index, the newly launched Asia Dow Index and the Europe Dow Index down by 20%, 16.7% and 11.8%, respectively, in 2011.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fared better and was up 5.5% over the year, while the S&P 500 rose by 1%. Dow Jones Indexes (DJI) saw a surge in interest for its utilities index, which was up by 19.7%. Gold was up by roughly 9.6% over the year.

Over the same period, DJI's benchmark commodities index was

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