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“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” —William Butler Yeats

Morning stock market summary

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President Eisenhower once said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and most investors probably consider themselves Irish today.  Even on a good day like yesterday, they can’t shake the feeling that there’s still more pain to come, especially heading into another weekend.  Maybe that just comes with the territory after a year-long bear market, a war in Europe, and the most aggressive Fed tightening cycle since the early eighties. But a banking crisis is only the newest entry on to the growing list of worries.

Futures are in the red this morning and have been drifting lower all morning ahead of a busy day for economic data. European stocks opened higher, and traded up over 1%, but are now in the red.  At 9:15, we’ll get updates on Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for February, and then at 10 AM, we’ll close out the week with Leading Indicators and Michigan Confidence.  Leading indicators have been in recessionary territory for months now, and in the Michigan report, the key area of focus will be inflation expectations following the NY Fed’s update earlier this week which showed a significant decline in one- and three-year inflation expectations.

Given it’s St Patrick’s Day, it’s an appropriate time to highlight the stocks deepest in the green this year that investors would be the luckiest to have in their portfolios.  The table below lists the 20 stocks in the S&P 500 that are up the most YTD.  Topping the list, NVIDIA (NVDA) and Meta (META) have already rallied 70% in the first two and a half months of the year.  After these two stocks, eight others are up over 40%, and all 20 are up over 25% on the year.  Looking at where each of these stocks is trading relative to their trading ranges, most are at overbought levels, but there are a handful like Tesla (TSLA), Warner Bros (WBD), Royal Caribbean (RCL), and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) that are trading relatively close to or even below their 50-day moving averages.

Usually, when you look at a list of best (or worst) performing stocks in an index, smaller names dominate the list as they are the most prone to large swings in either direction.  What stands out about this list is the fact that some of the best performers are also among the largest stocks in the index.  The two top performers – NVDA and META – both have market caps of more than $500 billion, and when you take Tesla (TSLA) into account, three of the top four have market caps of greater than $500 billion.  Lastly, of the top ten performers, half of them have market caps of over $100 billion.  In other words, these are some big leprechauns!

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