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The 5 Most Surprising Stock Stories of 2012

A few major collapses, a turnaround and a big buy from left field

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2012 might not have been a terribly exciting one for the overall market — the S&P 500 is up a fairly typical 12% for the year — but there were still a handful of headlines that investors never would have predicted as of late 2011.

We saw Wall Street batter one of America’s most popular companies. We saw Wall Street batter one of Wall Street’s most popular companies. And we saw a firm that runs mostly behind the scenes on Wall Street was thrust into the spotlight — yes, you guessed it, it was battered, too — thanks to someone essentially forgetting to shut off a switch.

Those were among some of the financial world’s most surprising stories for 2012. In no particular order, here are the five that really stood out:

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