Check Out The 13 Best Performing S&P Stocks Of 2010

Jeffrey Boyd

Looking back at 2010, this has been a positive year to hold stocks overall, with the S&P 500 pulling in a 11.24% return year to date.

But what if you could have made a 95% return? Or a 100% return? Or even a 135% return?

Some individual equities performed that well in 2011.

Note: Stocks reviewed are those in the S&P 500 from the first day of trading, 2010, to December 13.

Data from FinViz.

#13 JDS Uniphase Corporation

CEO: Thomas Waechter

Year to date return (through December 13): 68.00%

Detail: The company produces optical cable products used by companies like Verizon. Jim Cramer has been talking up JDSU.

Source: Wikipedia

#12 Sandisk

CEO: Eli Harari

Year to date return (through December 13): 72.02%

Detail: Sandisk produces flash memory, the sort of thing used in smartphones and iPods. Demand for the storage medium has surged in 2010.

Source: MarketWatch

#11 Wynn Resorts

CEO: Steve Wynn

Year to date return (through December 13): 73.19%

Detail: Wynn Resorts growing in China's Macau market, offsetting weakness in U.S.

#10 Pioneer Natural Resources

CEO: Scott Sheffield

Year to date return (through December 13): 75.05%

Detail: The energy exploration company Pioneer has been on a substantial earnings growth trend since 2007.

#9 Zions Bancorporation

CEO: A. Scott Anderson

Year to date return (through December 13): 78.30%

Detail: Zions Bancorporation had a difficult 2009, like many banks, but rebounded in 2010. It's business is located in Texas and the West of the U.S.

Source: Wikipedia

#8 Whole Foods Market

CEO: John Mackey

Year to date return (through December 13): 78.36%

Detail: Whole Foods will be added to the NASDAQ 100 on December 20. It has tapped the upscale market in grocery sales.

#7 Family Dollar

CEO: Howard Levine

Year to date return (through December 13): 78.88%

Detail: Family Dollar has taken advantage of the low price demands of U.S. consumers. Simultaneously, it beat its Q4 2010 earnings estimates and has reorganized internally, making the company more efficient.


#6 Huntington Bancshares

CEO: Stephen Steinour

Year to date return (through December 13): 83.47%

Detail: Another regional bank, Huntington Bancshares operates in the Midwest and has acquired weaker banks in the wake of the financial crisis.


#5 Qwest Communications

CEO: Edward Mueller

Year to date return (through December 13): 87.15%

Detail: Qwest combined with CenturyLink in 2010. The resulting company is a big high bandwidth player.

#4 Priceline.com

CEO: Jeffrey Boyd

Year to date return (through December 13): 88.64%

Detail: Piper Jaffray continues to view Priceline as a top pick, due to its position in the online international travel market.

#3 Salesforce.com

CEO: Marc Benioff

Year to date return (through December 13): 95.04%

Detail: Salesforce.com has caught on with the cloud computing meme in 2010.

#2 Akamai Technologies

CEO: Paul Sagan

Year to date return (through December 13): 100.00%

Detail: Akamai enjoying the boom associated with delivering online video.

#1 Cummins

CEO: Theodore Solso

Year to date return (through December 13): 135.36%

Detail: Cummins is an American producer of products associated with energy production. It is expanding facilities internationally, including in Turkey. Barclays is overweight on Cummins.

But are these the stocks to watch in 2011?

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