In wrapping up 2011, I thought it might be a good idea to step back and take a long-term look at the Dow: where it’s been and where (I think) it’s going.

And the picture is pretty bright. In fact, since the lows of the ’29 crash, the Dow has moved up pretty steadily for the past 83 years. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and while the average is right in the middle of its uptrend channel, I think there’s plenty of blue sky ahead.

Looking at individual stocks, I wanted to take a peek at what I thought were the best and worst stocks of the past year. Not in terms of performance, so much, but rather in terms of what the company accomplished.

At the top of my best list is none other than Apple (AAPL). Maybe it’s a obvious pick, but every time I’m in a mall, it’s often the ONLY store doing any business. That’s no small feat, so judging by the chart below, if you own it, keep owning it!

The opposite of Apple in almost every respect is Research in Motion (RIMM). Not sure a company could have had a worse year, either from a perception or stock price perspective. If you’re looking to bottom fish, I’d advise against it.

And that puts a wrapper on 2011, a year which had it’s volatility but ironically ended almost exactly where it started. Let’s hope ’12 brings a little more “up” into our lives.

Gary B. Smith joined FOX News Channel in 1999 and is currently a regular commentator on "Bulls & Bears," including his own segment called, "The Chartman."