The so-called Great Lockdown economic crisis has cost millions of people their jobs. Triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is set to be the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of 1929, according to IMF. The S&P 500 index has entered the bear territory. But some S&P 500 constituents have seen their stocks skyrocket amid the current crisis. Here we take a look at the top 10 best and worst performing S&P 500 stocks since the beginning of this year.
The Covid-19 has infected more than two million people and claimed 131,000 lives worldwide. Much of the world is in lockdown to maintain social distancing and contain the virus. The US government has announced a staggering $2 trillion stimulus package. But even that might not be enough as unemployment rates continue to skyrocket.
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Best performing S&P 500 stocks YTD
The best performing stocks in the current crisis are pharma, retail, technology or consumer goods enterprises. Topping the list is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which has gained 39.50% year-to-date. Regeneron's arthritis drug Kevzara is currently being tested for the treatment of Covid-19.
Newmont has gained 35.88% as gold prices continue to skyrocket. Newmont is the world's largest gold mining company. Citrix is up 28.94% while Netflix has gained 28.13%. Most households in the US already have Netflix subscription, and just watching more of its content won't boost the company's revenue. But it has a huge growth potential in international markets.
SBA Communications is up 24.18% year-to-date. The Clorox Company has gained 27.85% in the same time. Along with Amazon and Netflix, Clorox was in our list of the best coronavirus stocks. Clorox is a leading manufacturer of cleaning supplies, personal-care products and water filtration products.
Amazon has benefited a lot from the coronavirus pandemic. Its sales have shot up. The company has ramped up hiring to meet the increased demand. Amazon's stock is up 22.38% year-to-date. Others in the top ten are Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Digital Realty Trust and MSCI Inc.
Worst performing stocks
Businesses in the travel and tourism sectors have suffered the most due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of millions of people have been forced to cancel their travel plans. They have been asked to stay home to avoid contracting the virus. Energy companies have also been affected by the deadly combination of Covid-19 and falling oil prices.
Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Cruises are all luxury travel companies. All three of them have lost almost three-fourth of their market value as business has come to a halt.
Oil and gas companies such as Noble Energy, Apache Corp, Halliburton Company, Marathon Corp, Diamondback Energy, and Devon Energy have all lost at least two-thirds of their respective market value.
The only non-energy, non-travel company on the list is Alliance Data Systems. It provides loyalty and marketing services such as direct marketing, coalition loyalty programs, and private label credit cards. Its stock is down 70% year-to-date.
Picking individual stocks or betting heavily on just a few sectors could prove insanely rewarding or devastating depending on the stocks in your portfolio. If you have a knack for picking winning stocks, you could create immense wealth in the current crisis.
But for the rest of us, index funds make a lot more sense. They allow us to diversify our investments and minimize the risk of losing all our money.