Stocks opened little changed on Friday, the last trading day of 2011, as investors waited until next year to begin making large bets.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 17.33 points, or 0.14 percent, at 12,269.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.26 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,261.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 3.37 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,610.37.

(Reporting By Caroline Valetkevitch; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)