In November of last year, we took a look at the performance spread between the equal and market cap weighted versions of the S&P 500. The chart below provides an update through the end of September where positive readings indicate outperformance of the equal-weight S&P 500 and negative readings indicate outperformance of the market cap weighted index. In March 2020, as the market was plunging from the February peak and bottoming towards the end of the month, mega-caps such as Apple (APPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Facebook (FB) significantly outperformed the broader market, resulting in a 5.68 percentage point spread between the return of the equally weighted and market cap weighted S&P 500. Whereas the equal-weighted index declined 18.19% in March 2020, the market cap weighted index dropped ‘just’ 12.51%. In a reversal of these trends, the equal-weighted index outperformed between the months of September 2020 and March 2021, rallying 30.84% while its market cap weighted counterpart gained 18.14%. Over these months, there was a maximum monthly spread of 3.37 percentage points in favor of the equal-weighted index, which occurred last December. In recent months, mega-caps briefly took back the reins before the trend reversed in September when the equal-weighted index outperformed by 0.82 percentage points.
With the month of September behind us, the table below lists the 18 stocks in the S&P 500 that finished the month up over 10%, and less than a quarter of the stocks in the index (22%) finished the month higher. Overall, the average performance of stocks in the index was a decline of 3.7 percentage points. While short-term performance has been weak, on a YTD basis, 81.42% of S&P 500 stocks are up on the year, and the overall average gain is 18.90%. Of the stocks that have rallied 10%+ in September, more than half are from the Energy sector and another three come from the Financials sector. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.