Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Don’t assume that all S&P 500 stocks are struggling. A small group are actually thriving, thank you.


Fourteen S&P 500 stocks — including drug developer Eli Lilly (LLY), insurer Progressive (PGR) and Constellation Energy (CEG) — have gained 10% or more since the market peaked this year on July 31, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith. That makes them a pleasant counterbalance to the S&P 500, which has lost 7.4% since then.

Note how the S&P 500 leaders have changed. Not a single “Magnificent Seven” big-cap tech stock is a top performer since the market topped. It’s a whole new group taking charge now.

“Big Tech earnings are very important for the broader market, as these stocks have carried the entire stock market so far this year,” said David Trainer, CEO of research firm New Constructs. But investors willing to look past the giants are finding big gains.

Picking S&P 500 Winners In The Wreckage

If it feels like most S&P 500 stocks are down since late July, that’s because it’s true. It’s been that difficult to find winners.

All told, 421 stocks in the S&P 500, or roughly 84% of the index, are down since July 31. And some of the sell-offs are painful and dramatic, especially among former winners.

Significant winners can be found while the S&P 500 struggles. Not many, though. Just 14 S&P 500 stocks are up at least 10%, and only three have gained 20% or more. The S&P 500 stocks that are up since the July 31 peak are only up an average of 6%, hardly enough to get investors’ hearts racing.

But investors who found them are enjoying the spoils.

Eli Lilly Turns It On

Health care is already an S&P 500 sector investors turn to when the market fades. And it’s true that nearly a quarter of the top-performing S&P 500 since the sell-off are in health care (more than any other sector). But Eli Lilly has more than just good timing to thank for its stock’s 30.7% jump since July 31.

The company is one of the beneficiaries of repurposed drugs used for weight loss. This class of drugs is expected to be a blockbuster. But on top of that, Eli Lilly is also pushing into the practically green field of neurological treatments. To date, neurological treatments have trailed other areas like cardiac and even cancer.

But Eli Lilly is helping to change that with a pipeline targeting brain conditions. And that’s a big reason analysts think the company’s adjusted profit per share will rise nearly 4% in 2023 and then 53% in 2024.

Going Beyond Health Care

The energy sector is enjoying a tailwind, too, thanks to inflation. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is the only one of the 11 S&P 500 sectors to rise since July, albeit by less than 1%.

The sector’s top performer is Constellation Energy. It’s up 18.7% from July. Not surprisingly, strong oil prices are pushing up profits. Analysts think the company’s adjusted profit per share will hit $4.86 this year, up more than 15% from 2022.

And outside of energy, financial play Progressive is thriving while most other S&P 500 stocks struggle. It’s up 23.7% since July 31. And once again, there’s a strong fundamental profit growth story. Analysts think the company’s profit will hit $5.32 a share this year, up more than 40% from 2022.

These standout stocks show you can still make plenty of money on stocks — even as almost everyone else is losing it.

Top S&P 500 During The 2023 Sell-Off

They’re up the most from July 31 peak

Change since July 31

Eli Lilly
Health Care


Arista Networks
Information Technology

Constellation Energy

Health Care

Cboe Global Markets

Axon Enterprise

Health Care

Health Care

Marathon Petroleum

Diamondback Energy

NRG Energy


Akamai Technologies
Information Technology

Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, IBD
Follow Matt Krantz on X (Twitter) @mattkrantz

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The post Investors Scurry To Buy 14 Soaring Stocks As Market Sells Off appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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