2003 and 2009 were both V shape recovery years in which the S&P bottomed around March and rallied heavily for the remainder of the year. 2004 and 2010 were both negative for most of the year up until the September/October time frame in which powerful late year rallies salvaged positive returns. 2005 and 2011 meanwhile were both years that the index basically ended flat--albeit with a little more volatility in 2011.
Will 2012 look like 2006? If so, we're in for a nice year.