As of mid-day, the markets are chopping around rather aimlessly, within a couple tenths of a percent of yesterday's closes. Here is a view of 2011.
After a year of chopping around aimlessly, net gain for the SP 500 is 0.0%. DJI is up a bit, NASDAQ down a bit. This is a market going nowhere. Check out the 5 year plot at Yahoo Finance, and it's a pretty similar picture, but with DJI and NASDQ reversed. Over a five year span, the market has gone nowhere.
Look back since the beginning of the current century, and it's even worse. (Chart snipped from Yahoo Finance, interactive chart.)
The SP500 is down over 12% over this time. The DJI is up 6.6%, while the NASDAQ is off a whopping 32.6%.
This is where the SS privatizers want to put your retirement savings - with Wall Street rentiers skimming the cream off the top. Of course, they will do this irrespective of your gains and losses.
And I think there are plenty of losses looming over the horizon.