Wall Street is debating what 2012 will bring as it continues to watch aghast as Europe's debt crisis drags on and the economy here in the United States continues to struggle with sluggish growth in spite of near-record corporate earnings.

The sunniest optimists point to robust profits, even while acknowledging the high unemployment rate. Others fear that the financial crisis gripping Europe will tip it into a recession, and the U.S. will follow shortly thereafter.

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