These are the best performing Nasdaq and S&P 500 stocks of 2020

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These are the best performing Nasdaq and S&P 500 stocks of 2020


This has been an incredible year for the stock market as the broad indexes crashed in March, only to roar back as unprecedented stimulus from the federal government and the Federal Reserve drove a tremendous amount of money into equities, even as the economy was reeling.

Below are lists of 2020’s winners among components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
US:DJIA,
S&P 500
US:SPX
 and Nasdaq-100
US:NDX
 indexes.

First, some honorable mentions, plus Tesla and a warning

Before going to the broad indexes, it’s important to note that many of this year’s highest flyers aren’t part of the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq-100 Index — or at least not yet. For the Nasdaq-100, it takes time to rebalance the index to bring the largest companies in the Nasdaq Composite Index
US:COMP
 into the smaller subset. Here’s a list of 15 stocks that aren’t yet included in SPX or NDX but have at least doubled during 2020.

To gain entry to the S&P 500, a company’s “most recent quarter’s earnings and the sum of its trailing four consecutive quarters’ earnings must be positive” and it must also meet other requirements, according to S&P Global.

Tesla Inc.
US:TSLA
 met the bill and was added to the S&P 500 on Dec. 21, after the stock had skyrocketed 731% by then. The electric vehicle maker tops the lists of the year’s S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 winners below.

But Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500 following five quarters of positive earnings raises what may be a red flag for some investors. In a note to clients on Dec. 24, Jefferies analyst Christopher Wood pointed out that when Tesla was added to the S&P, its market capitalization was greater than the combined stock-market values of Toyota, Volkswagen
XE:VOW
 
US:VWAGY,
General Motors Co.
US:GM,
Ford Motor Co.
US:F,
Honda Motor Co.
US:HMC
 and Nissan Motor Co.
US:NSANY.
Wood added that all those firms were “busy spending serious amounts of money in electric vehicles, lured by various incentives, be they subsides or fines.”

Here’s the kicker: Wood wrote that as far as he could tell, “Tesla only generates profits at present by selling tax credits,” which are payments to Tesla by other auto manufacturers who make too few electric vehicles to satisfy regulators. Wood continued: “So in this respect, as noted in an excellent article in The Wall Street Journal in August, the irony is that Tesla is worth more than most of the industry it relies on for the subsidies that are the only reason it has been able to report five consecutive quarters of profits.” (The italics are mine.)

More on Tesla and credits:Tesla plays smoke and mirrors with profits again

Next, the FAANGs

Perhaps surprisingly, none of the high-profile FAANG stocks — Facebook Inc.
US:FB,
Amazon.com Inc.
US:AMZN,
Apple Inc.
US:AAPL,
Netflix Inc.
US:NFLX
and Google holding company Alphabet Inc.
US:GOOGL
US:GOOG
— made the S&P 500 list of 20 best performers.

However, Amazon and Apple made the list of top 20 Nasdaq-100 performers, and Apple topped the the Dow 30 components. Here’s how the other FAANGs have performed through Dec. 28:

• Facebook climbed 32%.

• Netflix soared 60%.

• Alphabet’s Class C shares jumped 33%, while the Class A shares gained 32%.

Best-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2020

The S&P 500 has risen 15.6% this year through Dec. 28. Here are the 20 components of the benchmark index that have shown the biggest gains:

Company

Ticker

 Industry 

Price change – 2020

 Tesla Inc. 

US:TSLA
 

 Motor Vehicles 

693%

 Etsy Inc. 

US:ETSY
 

 Miscellaneous Commercial Services 

302%

 Nvidia Corp. 

US:NVDA
 

 Semiconductors 

119%

 PayPal Holdings Inc. 

US:PYPL
 

 Data Processing Services 

118%

 L Brands Inc. 

US:LB
 

 Apparel/Footwear Retail 

114%

 Albemarle Corp. 

US:ALB
 

 Chemicals: Specialty 

105%

 Advanced Micro Devices Inc. 

US:AMD
 

 Semiconductors 

100%

 Cadence Design Systems Inc. 

US:CDNS
 

 Software 

94%

 ServiceNow Inc. 

US:NOW
 

 Information Technology Services 

93%

 Idexx Laboratories Inc. 

US:IDXX
 

 Medical Specialties 

89%

 Freeport-McMoRan Inc. 

US:FCX
 

 Other Metals/Minerals 

88%

 Align Technology Inc. 

US:ALGN
 

 Medical Specialties 

87%

 Apple Inc. 

US:AAPL
 

 Telecommunications Equipment 

86%

 West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. 

US:WST
 

 Medical Specialties 

85%

 Synopsys Inc. 

US:SNPS
 

 Software 

84%

 Abiomed Inc. 

US:ABMD
 

 Medical Specialties 

83%

 Catalent Inc. 

US:CTLT
 

 Pharmaceuticals: Other 

83%

 Amazon.com Inc. 

US:AMZN
 

 Internet Retail 

78%

 Rollins Inc. 

US:ROL
 

 Other Consumer Services 

76%

 Paycom Software Inc. 

US:PAYC
 

 Software 

75%

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage, profiles, price ratios, ratings and charts.

Nasdaq-100

The Nasdaq-100 has leapt a whopping 47% in 2020, while the full Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 43.8%. Like the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 are weighted by market capitalization, which means big tech names have driven the indexes’ strong performance.

Here are this year’s 20 best-performing stocks among the Nasdaq-100:

Company

Ticker

 Industry 

Price change – 2020

 Tesla Inc. 

US:TSLA
 

 Motor Vehicles 

693%

 Moderna Inc. 

US:MRNA
 

 Biotechnology 

470%

 Peloton Interactive Inc. Class A 

US:PTON
 

 Other Consumer Services 

436%

 Zoom Video Communications Inc. Class A 

US:ZM
 

 Software 

416%

 Pinduoduo Inc. ADR Class A 

US:PDD
 

 Internet Retail 

280%

 DocuSign Inc. 

US:DOCU
 

 Software 

209%

 MercadoLibre Inc. 

US:MELI
 

 Internet Software/Services 

191%

 Okta Inc. Class A 

US:OKTA
 

 Software 

128%

 Nvidia Corp. 

US:NVDA
 

 Semiconductors 

119%

 PayPal Holdings Inc. 

US:PYPL
 

 Data Processing Services 

118%

 Advanced Micro Devices Inc. 

US:AMD
 

 Semiconductors 

100%

 Cadence Design Systems Inc. 

US:CDNS
 

 Software 

94%

 Atlassian Corp. PLC Class A 

US:TEAM
 

 Software 

93%

 Idexx Laboratories Inc. 

US:IDXX
 

 Medical Specialties 

89%

 Align Technology Inc. 

US:ALGN
 

 Medical Specialties 

87%

 Apple Inc. 

US:AAPL
 

 Telecommunications Equipment 

86%

 Synopsys Inc. 

US:SNPS
 

 Software 

84%

 Amazon.com Inc. 

US:AMZN
 

 Internet Retail 

78%

 Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 

US:MRVL
 

 Semiconductors 

77%

 T-Mobile US Inc. 

US:TMUS
 

 Wireless Telecommunications 

70%

Source: FactSet

The good old Dow

By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen a relatively paltry 6.8% in 2020. Three changes were made to the 30-stock index on Aug: 31:

• Salesforce.com Inc.
US:CRM
 was added to the Dow, replacing Exxon Mobil Corp.
US:XOM.

• Honewell International Inc.
US:HON
 replaced Raytheon Technologies Corp.
US:RTX.

• Amgen Inc.
US:AMGN
 replaced Pfizer Inc.
US:PFE.

Here’s how all 30 current components of the Dow have performed in 2020:

Company

Ticker

 Industry 

Price change – 2020

Apple Inc.

US:AAPL
 

 Telecommunications Equipment 

86%

Microsoft Corp.

US:MSFT
 

 Software 

43%

Nike Inc. Class B

US:NKE
 

 Apparel/Footwear 

41%

Salesforce.com Inc.

US:CRM
 

 Software 

38%

Walt Disney Co.

US:DIS
 

 Cable/Satellite TV 

24%

Home Depot Inc.

US:HD
 

 Home Improvement Chains 

23%

Walmart Inc.

US:WMT
 

 Food Retail 

22%

Caterpillar Inc.

US:CAT
 

 Trucks/Construction/Farm Machinery 

21%

Honeywell International Inc.

US:HON
 

 Industrial Conglomerates 

19%

UnitedHealth Group Inc.

US:UNH
 

 Managed Health Care 

18%

Visa Inc. Class A

US:V
 

 Finance/Rental/Leasing 

13%

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

US:GS
 

 Investment Banks/Brokers 

13%

Procter & Gamble Co.

US:PG
 

 Household/Personal Care 

11%

McDonald’s Corp.

US:MCD
 

 Restaurants 

8%

Johnson & Johnson

US:JNJ
 

 Pharmaceuticals: Major 

5%

Travelers Cos. Inc.

US:TRV
 

 Multi-Line Insurance 

2%

Dow Inc.

US:DOW
 

 Chemicals: Specialty 

-1%

3M Co.

US:MMM
 

 Industrial Conglomerates 

-1%

Coca-Cola Co.

US:KO
 

 Beverages: Non-Alcoholic 

-2%

Verizon Communications Inc.

US:VZ
 

 Major Telecommunications 

-4%

American Express Co.

US:AXP
 

 Finance/Rental/Leasing 

-5%

Cisco Systems Inc.

US:CSCO
 

 Information Technology Services 

-6%

International Business Machines Corp.

US:IBM
 

 Information Technology Services 

-7%

Amgen Inc.

US:AMGN
 

 Biotechnology 

-7%

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

US:JPM
 

 Major Banks 

-10%

Merck & Co. Inc.

US:MRK
 

 Pharmaceuticals: Major 

-12%

Intel Corp.

US:INTC
 

 Semiconductors 

-21%

Chevron Corp.

US:CVX
 

 Integrated Oil 

-30%

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

US:WBA
 

 Drugstore Chains 

-33%

Boeing Co.

US:BA
 

 Aerospace & Defense 

-34%

Source: FactSet

Don’t miss:20 of analysts’ favorite large-cap stocks for 2021, including GM, Facebook and Salesforce



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