In last night’s Closer, we showed the biggest contributors to the S&P 500’s gain so far in 2019 as well as the stocks that have weighed on the index the most.  Given the S&P’s 14% YTD gain, it’s probably not surprising to hear that only one stock in the entire S&P 500 has weighed on the total index performance by at least 20 bps: Pfizer (PFE).  On the other hand, 11 different stocks have added at least 20 bps to total index performance in 2019. We show the 10 best and worst-performing stocks this year by the overall contribution to the S&P 500’s performance in the table below.  As shown, mega-cap Tech like Microsoft (MSFT) and four of the five FAANG names have been the biggest contributors.  When you add them all up, they’ve accounted for roughly 26% of the S&P’s gain this year.   Two credit card companies — Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V), and two retailers — Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) — have also been big contributors to gains.

At the industry group level, health care stocks related to Pharmaceuticals, Biotech, and Life Sciences are one of only two industry groups to weigh on S&P 500 performance this year.  Energy is the other standout with a 4% decline.  Software & Services is the best performer, driving 3.3 percentage points of the S&P’s 14% gain this year. Media & Entertainment, Retail which includes Amazon (AMZN), and tech Hardware are the only other groups that have added at least 1% to the total 14.46% gain for the S&P 500 so far in 2019.

While YTD numbers look really great, things are not so hot versus this time last year; the S&P 500 is actually slightly lower year-over-year. As a result, the gap between the contribution of gainers and those of decliners is much narrower. Only four stocks drove a gain of at least 20 bps for the headline index over the past year: Microsoft (MSFT), Procter & Gamble (PG), Mastercard (MA), and Visa (V).

We note that the top ten gainers are almost exclusively very blue-chip stocks: large tech companies, credit card networks, and some consumer names.  Only the cell phone tower REIT American Tower (AMT) is unusual in this list of big-cap, well-known stocks.  Losers are concentrated in Health Care, Banks, and Tech.

While Alphabet (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), and Amazon (AMZN) aren’t down drastically versus last summer, their market caps are big enough to have cost a lot of performance for the S&P 500’s overall performance.  Smaller cap stocks like NVIDIA (NVDA), DuPont (DD), AbbVie (ABBV), and Schlumberger (SLB) are a verry different story.

At the industry group level, there have been more decliners than gainers, though only Energy and Banks have cost the index more than 80 bps; on the flip side only Software has been a greater than 80 bps gainer.  Defensive industry groups like Utilities, Household & Personal Products, and Real Estate have all driven the S&P 500 higher while cyclical industry groups like Capital Goods and Tech Hardware have weighed. Start a two-week free trial to one of Bespoke’s premium research services.

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