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How Much $1,000 Would Be Worth If You Invested In These Pandemic-Winning Stocks 1 Year Ago

LPETTET / Getty Images

LPETTET / Getty Images

Oh, what a difference a year makes. In March 2020, it seemed like the world was ending in the stock market. In response to the news of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. stock market indices crashed with great ferocity. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell into a bear market — defined as a drop of more than 20% — in just 20 trading days. This was almost twice as fast as the “Great Crash” of 1929, which took 36 trading days to reach the bear market level.

Read: COVID’s Financial Impact After 1 Year: See All Our Coverage

Amid all of that carnage, some stocks took it much worse than others. Commodity, travel and retail stocks, such as cruise lines, mall-based stores and gold producers, all took it on the chin as demand for their products all but evaporated.

And then, something remarkable happened — the stock market took a complete 180-degree turn, rallying back sharply and making that bear market the shortest in history. Just 33 trading days later, the S&P 500 index was out of its bear market and on its way to a historical rebound. If you had bought in at market lows on March 20, 2020, you stood to make some impressive gains one year later.

To see what $1,000 invested at those market lows could have earned you, GOBankingRates took the prices of all S&P 500 index components as of March 20, 2020, and compared them with closing prices on March 9, 2021. Stocks with the biggest percentage moves are ranked below in reverse order, from the smallest gain to the largest. Some of these stocks, like the cruise lines and energy companies, bounced off panic lows, while others, like Etsy, actually benefited tremendously from the effects of the pandemic. Either way, the numbers are quite remarkable, and they certainly support the old Wall Street axiom that you should “buy low.” Continue reading to see how much you’d have if you’d bought in last March.

Last updated: March 16, 2021

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15. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $23.81
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $89.56
  • % change: 276.14%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $3,761.44

See: Nearly Half of All Americans Missed Rent or Mortgage Payments Due to COVID-19, New Study Reveals

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14. Discover Financial Services (DFS)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $25.25
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $97.53
  • % change: 286.26%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $3,862.57

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13. Devon Energy Corp. (DVN)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $6.08
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $23.83
  • % change: 291.94%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $3,919.41

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12. Gap Inc. (GPS)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $7.22
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $28.99
  • % change: 301.52%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,015.24

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11. MGM Resorts International (MGM)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $9.11
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $37.48
  • % change: 311.42%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,114.16

Read: Just How Rich Are President Joe Biden and These Other Big Names?

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10. United Rentals (URI)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $70.10
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $295.25
  • % change: 321.18%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,211.84

See: Everything You Need To Know About Taxes This Year

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9. Diamondback Energy (FANG)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $18.59
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $81.03
  • % change: 335.88%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,358.80

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8. Apache Corp (APA)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $4.83
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $21.60
  • % change: 347.20%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,472.05

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7. Halliburton Company (HAL)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $5.05
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $23.47
  • % change: 364.75%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $4,647.52

Read: Do You Invest Like These Millionaire Stars?

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6. L Brands Inc. (LB)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $9.78
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $54.51
  • % change: 457.36%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $5,573.62

See: 4 Investing Lessons the Pandemic Has Taught Us

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5. Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $26.00
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $148.70
  • % change: 471.92%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $5,719.23

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4. Freeport-Mcmoran Inc. (FCX)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $5.52
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $33.86
  • % change: 513.41%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $6,134.06

More: 13 Investing Rules You Should Break During the Pandemic

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3. Etsy Inc. (ETSY)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $31.69
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $206.79
  • % change: 552.54%
  • How much $1,000 invested  on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $6,525.40

Read: Stocks That Would Have Made You Rich Today

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2. ViacomCBS Inc. Cl. B (VIAC)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $11.97
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $79.66
  • % change: 565.50%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020, would be worth now: $6,654.97

See: 20 Investments That Are Recession-Proof

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1. Tesla Inc. (TSLA)

  • March 20, 2020 close price: $85.51
  • March 9, 2021 close price: $673.58
  • % change: 687.72%
  • How much $1,000 invested on March 20, 2020 would be worth now: $7,877.21

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Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for representational purposes only.

Methodology: GOBankingRates first identified the top 30 “pandemic-winning” stocks by comparing (1) the close price on March 20, 2020 (the day that the S&P 500 as a whole reached its lowest point in the early pandemic) to (2) the close price on March 9, 2021 for every component of the S&P 500. With these data points, GOBankingRates calculated the (3) change in stock price over the period in U.S. dollars and (4) percent change in stock price over the period. Then, for each of the 30 stocks which had the most dramatic percent increase in stock price, GOBankingRates found (5) how many shares $1,000 could have bought on March 20, 2020 and (6) the value the same amount of shares had at close on March 9, 2021. The components of the S&P 500 were downloaded from Barchart and all stock price information was sourced from Google Finance. All data was collected on and up to date as of March 10, 2021.

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