- The beauty-care company Coty Inc. is the top performing S&P 500 stock this year, with a return of over 100%.
- The S&P 500 has gained 14% in 2019.
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After a volatile fourth quarter in 2018, the stock market has surged in the opening months of 2019, with the S&P 500 up 14%. The market has achieved these returns despite the volatility caused by the trade tensions with China.
While there is an expectation that the trade talks between the US and China will be resolved favorably, a recent ban of equipment sales to Huawei by the Trump administration could signal even further market volatility ahead.
Despite these risks, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says now is the time for stock pickers. According to Savita Subramanian, the bank’s head of US equity and quantitative strategy, stocks are more differentiated now than they have been at any point since the financial crisis. Those idiosyncrasies, in turn, create price dislocations that can be readily exploited by traders.
“By simply limiting the universe of stocks to companies with above average ‘idiosyncratic,’ or company-specific risk, we found that these attributes were rewarded by a much wider margin,” she wrote.
Not everyone is so sanguine about the markets prospects however. UBS chief equity strategist Francois Trahan sees trouble ahead.
“There is a perception among some investors that the Fed’s tightening cycle is already priced into US equities,” he said in a recent note to clients. “This notion could prove to be a major surprise this year, a disappointing surprise that is.”
Here are the 15 best-performing S&P 500 stocks in 2019:
- Christian Petersen-Clausen/Getty Images
Market cap: $23.4 billion
Year-to-date return: +43.5%
Description: Financial-payments technology services
- NYSE Euronext via YouTube
Market cap: $23.3 billion
Year-to-date return: +44.4%
Description: Provides fuel cards and workforce-payment products and services
Market cap: $12.8 billion
Year-to-date return: +45.7%
Description: Dental-equipment maker and dental-consumables producer
- Fabrizio Bensch/REUTERS
Market cap: $29.2 billion
Year-to-date return: +46.4%
Description: Semiconductor company and microchip manufacturer
Market cap: $67 billion
Year-to-date return: +48%
Description: Biotechnology company
Market cap: $24.2 billion
Year-to-date return: +48.9%
Description: Consumer financial-services company
Market cap: $18.9 billion
Year-to-date return: +50.9%
Description: Provider of market indexes and multi-asset portfolio-analysis tools
Market cap: $25.8 billion
Year-to-date return: +51.6%
Description: Orthodontics company, maker of invisalign teeth aligners
Cadence Design Systems
Market cap: $18.4 billion
Year-to-date return: +53.4%
Description: Electronic design-automation software and engineering services
Market cap: $24.3 billion
Year-to-date return: +54.9%
Description: World’s second-largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork
- Thomson Reuters
Market cap: $7.2 billion
Year-to-date return: +62.0%
Description: Sells print- and digital-document and services
- Ron Cogswell/Flickr
Market cap: $19.8 billion
Year-to-date return: +62.1%
Description: Energy exploration and production
Market cap: $36.5 billion
Year-to-date return: +65.7%
Description: Hydrocarbon exploration
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Market cap: $20.1 billion
Year-to-date return: +67.5%
Description: Fast-casual burrito chain
Market cap: $10.2 billion
Year-to-date return: +104.7%
Description: Manufactures, markets, and distributes fragrances, cosmetics and hair-care products