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S&P 500 Sees Best 100-Day Gain Since 1933: 5 Winners

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On Aug 13, the U.S. stock market finished its 100th trading day since it hit the pandemic panic low on Mar 23. The broader S&P 500 closed slightly lower on the day but remained 50.1% above its Mar 23 close of 2,237.40 and recorded the strongest 100-trading day gain since 1933, per Dow Jones Market Data. 
 
The S&P 500 is also not far off from reaching the all-time closing high of 3,386.15 set on Feb 19, a level the index crossed on Wednesday and again on Thursday before pulling back in late trade to close at 3,373.43 (read more: 5 Top Stocks to Buy as S&P 500 Nears an All-Time High).
 
So, what’s behind the broader market’s solid performance amid the pandemic in the last 100 trading days? Hopes of a new coronavirus relief package have improved investors’ sentiment, even though such measures by President Trump face legal challenges. The new stimulus measure will extend weekly jobless bonus to $400 per week, provide a payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than $100,000 per year and defer student loan payments this year.
 
But most importantly, the government had already approved more than a trillion-dollar relief plan that directly benefitted American consumers and small business houses. It also helped struggling industries, which took a serious beating due to travel restrictions and cancellations.
 
The Fed too kept borrowing costs at ultra-low levels and pumped billions of dollars into the banking system to sustain the credit flow. Policy makers kept benchmark federal funds rate at a range of zero to 0.25%. Additionally, the Fed expanded the scope of its emergency corporate debt loan facility by buying a broad and diversified portfolio of debt issued by individual corporates. In that way, more money flowed into big businesses at a time when the financial system is under considerable pressure, courtesy of the pandemic.
 
At the same time, the stock market factored in a V-shaped economic recovery following May, June and July jobs reports that have exceeded economists’ expectations. To top it, May’s record retail sales growth was followed by an uptick in June as state re-openings provided the much-needed boost to more cyclical and value-oriented businesses.
 
Meanwhile, despite the virus outbreak, manufacturing as well as service sector activities have picked up in recent times, a tell-tale sign that most part of the economy has been able to sustain the blow of the pandemic.
 
And talking about the pandemic, coronavirus case count has of late been declining. Only 13 U.S. states reported that their seven-day average of new cases in the last two-week period has moved up, down from 42 states with higher averages a month earlier. The decline in cases also helped life investors’ confidence.

5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks From the Last 100 Days

Given the aforesaid positives and the S&P 500’s best gains in the last 100 trading days in nearly 90 years, it will be prudent to invest in stocks listed on the index that not have only gained in the said period but also have more room to scale northward. These stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).
 
Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI - Free Report) is an original equipment manufacturer of semiconductor devices, specifically, analog, mixed signal and digital signal processing (DSP) integrated circuits. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 8.9% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and next year is 7.2% and 18.6%, respectively. Its shares have gained 38.6% since Mar 23.
 
General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) is one of the world’s largest automakers. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 63.8% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next year is 76.3%. Its shares have gained 56.5% since Mar 23.
 
QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecom products and services. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 4.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter and year is 116.3% and 108%, respectively. Its shares have gained 81.4% since Mar 23. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
 
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN - Free Report) is a biopharmaceutical company. The company, currently, has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 19.9% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter and year is 9.1% and 16.7%, respectively. Its shares have gained 34% since Mar 23, 2020.
 
Lam Research Corporation (LRCX - Free Report) supplies wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. The company, currently, has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 21.1% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter and year is 26.9% and 14.9%, respectively. Its shares have gained 95.5% since Mar 23.

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through Q2 2020, while the S&P 500 gained an impressive +44.0%, five of our strategies returned +50.9%, +93.8%, +122.2%, +153.0%, and even +156.8%.
 
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – Q2 2020, while the S&P averaged +5.5% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +51.7% per year.