The year 2019 has been extremely rewarding for Wall Street with the key equity gauge the S&P 500 returning 28.4% so far. The first and the fourth quarters of the year were mainly gainful with the equity indexes soring to record highs in the final month of the year (read: S&P 500 Tops 3, 200: What Lies Ahead for ETFs in 2020?).
After all, the U.S. economy has been showing signs of improvement. The so-called “inverted yield curve,” which gives signals of an impending recession, reverted back to normal in the fourth quarter. Trade tensions have eased a lot with the announcement of phase-one U.S.-China and USMCA trade deal. Global policy easing has been an added tailwind.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the USMCA deal will likely contribute 0.5% to GDP growth. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model estimates that the U.S. economy will likely to expand 2.3% in the fourth quarter, up from the third quarter’s growth of 2.1%. The Fed has already enacted three rate cuts this year and has indicated no further hikes in 2020. Incessant cheap money inflows continued to strengthen equity market.
The key U.S. S&P 500 Index’s gain is now slightly behind 2013′s stellar return of 29.6%. If Santa rally grips Wall Street in the final days of December and the S&P 500 manages to notch up 29.6% gain in 2019, it could become the best year since 1997 when the benchmark jumped 31%.The S&P 500, in fact, recorded its longest winning streak since November(read: Santa Rally Sets In: Bet on 5 Top High-Beta ETFs With Value).
Against this backdrop, it would be intriguing to highlight the best-performing stocks of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY - Free Report) in the year 2019.
Top-Performing Stocks of SPY
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD - Free Report) – Up 152.1%
Santa Clara, CA-based Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company provides microprocessors (x86-based), chipsets, discrete graphics processing units (GPUs) and professional graphics. The stock belongs to a favorable Zacks industry (placed at the top 12% of 250+ industries).
Lam Research Corporation (LRCX - Free Report) – Up 116.3%
The Zacks Rank #3 stock supplies wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. Its products are used by semiconductor manufacturers in front-end and WLP processes, creating memory, microprocessors, and other logic integrated circuits for a broad range of electronic devices. The stock comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 1%).
KLA Corporation (KLAC - Free Report) – Up 99.0%
The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of process diagnostics and control (PDC) equipment and yield management solutions required for the fabrication of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) or chips. The stock hails from a favorable Zacks industry (top 26%).
Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) – Up 94.5%
The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)operates as a general merchandise retailer in the United States. The company provides an array of goods ranging from household essentials and electronics to toys and apparel for men, women and kids. The stock comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 33%).
Qorvo Inc. (QRVO - Free Report) – Up 94.5%
The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is a leading provider of core technologies and radio frequency (RF) solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. The stock belongs to a favorable Zacks industry (top 5%).
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG - Free Report) – Up 92.0%
The Zacks Rank #2 company, together with its subsidiaries operates quick-casual and fresh Mexican food restaurant chains. The stock belongs to a favorable Zacks industry (top 21%).
Copart Inc. (CPRT - Free Report) – Up 90.3%
The Zacks Rank #1 company provides online auction and a wide range of remarketing services to process and sell salvage and clean title vehicles. The stock comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 18%).
Xerox Corporation (XRX - Free Report) – Up 89.1%
Xerox is a print technology and intelligent work solutions provider. However, the stock is not a good bet going into 2020 as it has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and hails from an unfavorable Zacks industry (bottom 10%).
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT - Free Report) – Up 87.8%
The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock is one of the world’s largest suppliers of equipment for the fabrication of semiconductor, flat panel liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. The stock comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 1%).
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