When it comes to investing in stock, it’s always better to think long-term. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t real value in keeping an eye on recent trends in case you need to make changes to some part of your portfolio or if there’s a big opportunity on the horizon. As such, it’s worth keeping an eye on which S&P 500 companies are starting off 2019 with a bang or a whimper. So, here’s a look at the 10 biggest winners — and 10 biggest losers — on the famous index so far this year.
The 10 Best-Performing Stocks of 2019 So Far
The S&P 500 ended 2018 on the decline, but it’s up 11 percent from the start of the year through the first week of March. However, some of its companies are leading the way, with the top 10 gainers all increasing their stock value by at least a third.
10. Synchrony Financial (SYF)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $23.15
Closing Price March 7: $31.50
Percent Gain: 36.1 percent
Online bank and credit card issuer Synchrony got a huge boost in late January when Walmart — one of its former partners — dropped a lawsuit against the company and it was announced that it wouldn’t be losing Sam’s Club as a partner. That sent shares soaring 10.7 percent in a single day and has contributed to the roaring start to the year.
9. Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (CDNS)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $42.65
Closing Price March 7: $58.77
Percent Gain: 37.8 percent
A 37.8 percent gain in just over two months is precisely the sort of cadence investors are likely hoping this tech firm can keep up. After spending 2018 unable to break past a price of $47.50 a share, the turnover to a new year on the calendar appears to have worked wonders as the stock has soared to close to $60 a share.
8. Keysight Technologies, Inc. (KEYS)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $61.17
Closing Price March 7: $84.58
Percent Gain: 38.3 percent
Keysight is another company where it appears as though the start of 2019 was all investors were waiting for. This communications company has seen its stock take off like a rocket this year, adding over $23 a share to its price in just over 60 days.
7. Hess Corporation (HES)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $39.29
Closing Price March 7: $56.61
Percent Gain: 44.1 percent
Hess Corporation is an oil and gas company based out of New York. But before you label its 2019 performance an outright gusher, the gain is much less impressive in context. The stock was trading around $70 a share in early October 2018 before a huge slump to as much as under $40 a share at the end of the year, making the recent spike more of a recovery than a breakout.
6. Xilinx, Inc. (XLNX)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $83.39
Closing Price March 7: $119.91
Percent Gain: 43.8 percent
Good news: you don’t have to be able to pronounce the company’s name to buy shares. While shares have been on a real tear in 2019, it’s the continuation of a bull run that has been going for over two years and taken shares from about $55 in April of 2017 to well over $100 now.
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5. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $427.83
Closing Price March 7: $609.53
Percent Gain: 42.5 percent
It’s amazing what a sustained stretch without any E. coli scandals can do for your stock price. However, this is also a great example of where a “buy the dip” strategy can pay off. The company’s calamitous 2015 fall, which saw share value drop from over $700 to, eventually, less than $400, has reversed itself in a big way. If you saw the sell-off as an overreaction to a temporary issue you’re likely feeling pretty good with yourself right now.
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4. Mattel, Inc. (MAT)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $9.83
Closing Price March 7: $14.55
Percent Gain: 48 percent
If you got shares of Mattel for Christmas this year, you’re likely pretty enamored with your shiny new toy at this point. But, if you’re a long-time investor who’s held them for much longer, not so much. Shares have been in decline for years, falling from just under $40 in April of 2014 to under $10 apiece by the end of last year.
3. Hanesbrands, Inc. (HBI)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $12.32
Closing Price March 7: $18.33
Percent Gain: 48.8 percent
Here’s one stock a lot of people are probably wishing they had gotten their “hanes” on when they had the chance. The stock is up nearly 50 percent so far in 2019, but once again, the bigger story is that Hanes is bouncing back a little after a long, painful decline from almost $35 in the spring of 2015.
2. Delphi Technologies PLC (DLPH)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $14.09
Closing Price March 7: $21.09
Percent Gain: 49.7 percent
One look at that 49.7 percent gain must have a lot of investors wishing they had an oracle to tell them it was coming. Then again, if they’ve held the company a while, they must really wish they had an oracle last summer to warn them to sell when the price was still over $50 a share.
1. Xerox Corporation (XRX)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $19.48
Closing Price March 7: $30.24
Percent Gain: 55.2 percent
That’s a stock chart so good the C-suite at Xerox might be running off 200 copies to pass around the office. But, Xerox is yet another example of a beat-down stock that has found some new life in 2019. That 55.2 percent gain looks great on paper, but it’s just returning the stock to a level it was trading at last spring before Moodys downgraded its credit rating to “junk” status.
The 10 Worst-Performing Stocks of 2019 So Far
Just because the rest of the market is having a party doesn’t necessarily mean you get to join in. Despite the S&P 500 climbing over 10 percent to start the year, several of its components are actually down by that much or more early in 2019.
10. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $20.11
Closing Price March 7: $17.91
Percent Loss: 10.9 percent
Turns out Goodyear is … not having a good year. Nor did it last year. Overall, the rough start to 2019 is just capping a lengthy downtrend that has taken the stock from over $35 a share as recently as January of 2018 to under $20 today.
9. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $67.20
Closing Price March 7: $59.79
Percent Loss: 11 percent
There’s no “I” in team, but there is one in “alliance.” As in: “I lost a lot of money on my Walgreens Boots Alliance stock this year.” It’s been a volatile stock over the last two years, trading big gains for steep declines every few months. And the current downswing is actually even worse than is indicated here. Shares were just shy of $85 each around Thanksgiving and have fallen sharply from there.
8. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $100.24
Closing Price March 7: $88.41
Percent Loss: 11.8 percent
Some investors might need to take two aspirin after the video game company dropped by almost 12 percent to start the year. This could be a good example of a company’s stock overheating and needing a correction, though. Shares have been climbing rapidly for years, trading at about $20 a share mid-way through 2014 and going on a huge bull run to over $130 apiece by September of last year. So if you bought in there, this is likely to be painful, but long-term investors probably aren’t sweating the recent declines nearly as much.
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7. Cigna Corporation (CI)
Opening Price Jan. 2: 187.69
Closing Price March 7: $163.77
Percent Loss: 12.7 percent
One possible explanation for Cigna’s recent decline could be the recent appearance of a “double top” pattern over the long term. Shares broke $225 in January 2018 only to retreat sharply. Then, after a strong recovery, it approached that level again around Thanksgiving only to retreat sharply again. If investors and traders see $225 as a resistance level the stock just can’t break through, they might wind up looking elsewhere for investments with more upside.
6. AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $91.24
Closing Price March 7: $78.24
Percent Loss: 14.2 percent
Pharmaceutical company AbbVie has been on the decline for over a year, falling from almost $120 a share in late January of 2018. However, investors could take solace from the triple-bottom pattern that might be forming over a support level of around $78 a share. Shares dipped to that point and rebounded twice in the last six months and appear to be testing that level again now.
5. Newell Brands Inc. (NWL)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $18.05
Closing Price March 7: $15.50
Percent Loss: 14.1 percent
This consumer good conglomerate might not be immediately recognizable as Newell Brands, but you’re likely familiar with plenty of the brands it owns, like RubberMaid, Oster or Crock-Pot. The stock went into freefall in mid-February after the company released disappointing earnings for the fourth quarter while also updating guidance to show it expected revenue to be down for the coming year as well.
4. CVS Health Corporation (CVS)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $64.86
Closing Price March 7: $52.36
Percent Loss: 19.3 percent
Investors in CVS might be feeling pretty thankful that their drug store of choice also sells booze after shares plunged by over 19 percent by early March. The biggest culprit for the recent downturn would be a disappointing earnings report on Feb. 20 that included projected earnings that were well below analyst expectations. The company is currently working to complete its merger with health insurance giant Aetna.
3. CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $15.03
Closing Price March 7: $12.11
Percent Loss: 19.4 percent
The nearly 20 percent decline so far in 2019 is just a continuation of the sell-off for the communications service provider that started last summer. Shares were up near $24 a pop as of August, but they’ve been in a steady decline since.
2. Macy’s, Inc. (M)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $29.09
Closing Price March 7: $23.30
Percent Loss: 19.9 percent
Turns out, one of Macy’s biggest sales so far in 2019 has been on its stock, it just didn’t have a lot of say in that being sold on a discount. The shares fell off a cliff in January after the company cut its outlook for profit, sales and gross margin — sending investors running for the doors.
1. The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC)
Opening Price Jan. 2: $42.75
Closing Price March 7: $31.89
Percent Loss: 25.4 percent
If you’ve lost money on your Kraft Heinz stock this year, you can at least take solace in the fact that you’re in good company: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest shareholders of the company. What’s more, you can also take solace in the fact that you lost way, WAY less than the Oracle of Omaha. Berkshire’s stake in the company is down as much as $4.4 billion.
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Market data accurate as of market close on March 7, 2019.
About the Author
Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.