Today marks 100 days since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on Mar 11. The U.S. stock market was badly beaten down during the crisis, entering the bear market in late March. However, it then rebounded strongly with the S&P 500 gaining about 40% from the lows.
A booming technology sector, an unprecedented stimulus from the central bank and the government, and hopes of a potential coronavirus vaccine were the biggest catalysts in driving the stocks higher. Additionally, the latest bouts of data indicate that the economy has been recovering faster-than-expected from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true as U.S. retail sales jumped 17.7% in May as consumers began spending and states gradually reopened their economies. Also, industrial production rose 1.4% with the resumption of operations. The United States added 2.5 million jobs in May — the largest monthly gain since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the data series in 1939. Additionally, homebuilder confidence posted a record jump in June while consumer sentiment climbed the most in June since 2016. Further, the Fed’s latest move to provide liquidity in the markets and the Trump administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending package added to the strength. The central bank announced that it would begin purchasing individual corporate bonds as part of its emergency lending program to inject liquidity into the virus-stricken economy. However, the stock market is currently witnessing volatility given renewed fears of COVID-19 infections. While every sector of the market has rallied, information technology and consumer discretionary has been the clear winner during the pandemic. Below, we have highlighted some stocks from the S&P 500 index that soared more than 40% in the 100 days of the pandemic. These stocks have a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), suggesting their continued outperformance even in the wake of second wave of deadly virus infections. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Fortinet Inc. ( FTNT Quick Quote FTNT - Free Report) – Up 49.3% This company is a provider of network security appliances and Unified Threat Management (UTM) network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. It saw positive earnings estimate revision of 14 cents over the past 90 days for this year with an estimated growth of 13.8%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 and Growth Score of B. West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. ( WST Quick Quote WST - Free Report) – Up 47.2% This company manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the United States, Germany, Ireland, France, Other European countries and internationally. It saw positive earnings estimate revision of 9 cents over the past 90 days for this year with estimated growth of 11.4%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 and Growth Score of A. Tractor Supply Company ( TSCO Quick Quote TSCO - Free Report) – Up 43.5% This is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States. The stock saw solid earnings estimate revision of 53 cents over the past 90 days for this year and has an estimated growth of 19%. Tractor Supply has a Zacks Rank #2 and Momentum Score of B. MarketAxess Holdings Inc. ( MKTX Quick Quote MKTX - Free Report) – Up 42.5% This leading multi-dealer trading platform offers institutional investors access to global liquidity in products like U.S. high-grade corporate bonds, emerging markets and high-yield bonds, European bonds, U.S. agency bonds, credit derivatives and other fixed-income securities. The stock saw solid earnings estimate revision of 96 cents over the past 90 days for this year with an estimated growth of 31.1%. MarketAxess has a Zacks Rank #1 and Growth Score of B. NVIDIA Corporation ( NVDA Quick Quote NVDA - Free Report) – Up 41.5% It is the worldwide leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the graphic processing unit, or GPU. The stock saw positive earnings estimate revision of 25 cents over the past 90 days for fiscal year (ending Jan 21) and has estimated growth of 36.4%. NVIDIA has a Zacks Rank #2. 5 Stocks to Soar Past the Pandemic: In addition to the companies you learned about above, we invite you to learn about 5 cutting-edge stocks that could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of the decade. See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>