Here are the15 best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this year

  • The beauty-care company Coty Inc. is the top performing S&P 500 stock this year, with a return of over 100%.
  • The S&P 500 has gained 14% in 2019.
  • Visit MarketsInsider.com for more stories.

After a volatile fourth quarter in 2018, the stock market has surged in the opening months of 2019, with the S&P 500 up 14%. The market has achieved these returns despite the volatility caused by the trade tensions with China.

While there is an expectation that the trade talks between the US and China will be resolved favourably, a recent ban of equipment sales to Huawei by the Trump administration could signal even further market volatility ahead.

Despite these risks, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says now is the time for stock pickers. According to Savita Subramanian, the bank’s head of US equity and quantitative strategy, stocks are more differentiated now than they have been at any point since the financial crisis. Those idiosyncrasies, in turn, create price dislocations that can be readily exploited by traders.

“By simply limiting the universe of stocks to companies with above average ‘idiosyncratic,’ or company-specific risk, we found that these attributes were rewarded by a much wider margin,” she wrote.

Not everyone is so sanguine about the markets prospects however. UBS chief equity strategist Francois Trahan sees trouble ahead.

“There is a perception among some investors that the Fed’s tightening cycle is already priced into US equities,” he said in a recent note to clients. “This notion could prove to be a major surprise this year, a disappointing surprise that is.”

Here are the 15 best-performing S&P 500 stocks in 2019:


Global Payments

Christian Petersen-Clausen/Getty Images

Ticker: GPN

Market cap: $US23.4 billion

Year-to-date return: +43.5%

Description: Financial-payments technology services


FleetCor Technologies

NYSE Euronext via YouTube

Ticker: FLT

Market cap: $US23.3 billion

Year-to-date return: +44.4%

Description: Provides fuel cards and workforce-payment products and services


Dentsply

knyazevfoto/Shutterstock

Ticker: XRAY

Market cap: $US12.8 billion

Year-to-date return: +45.7%

Description: Dental-equipment maker and dental-consumables producer


AMD

Ticker: AMD

Market cap: $US29.2 billion

Year-to-date return: +46.4%

Description: Semiconductor company and microchip manufacturer


Celgene

Ticker: CELG

Market cap: $US67 billion

Year-to-date return: +48%

Description: Biotechnology company


Synchrony

Ticker: SYF

Market cap: $US24.2 billion

Year-to-date return: +48.9%

Description: Consumer financial-services company


MSCI

MSCI

Ticker: MSCI

Market cap: $US18.9 billion

Year-to-date return: +50.9%

Description: Provider of market indexes and multi-asset portfolio-analysis tools


Align Technology

Ticker: ALGN

Market cap: $US25.8 billion

Year-to-date return: +51.6%

Description: Orthodontics company, maker of invisalign teeth aligners


Cadence Design Systems

Glassdoor

Ticker: CDNS

Market cap: $US18.4 billion

Year-to-date return: +53.4%

Description: Electronic design-automation software and engineering services


Tyson Foods

Ticker: TSN

Market cap: $US24.3 billion

Year-to-date return: +54.9%

Description: World’s second-largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork


Xerox

Ticker: XRX

Market cap: $US7.2 billion

Year-to-date return: +62.0%

Description: Sells print- and digital-document and services


Hess Corporation

Ticker: HES

Market cap: $US19.8 billion

Year-to-date return: +62.1%

Description: Energy exploration and production


Anadarko Petroleum

Ticker: APC

Market cap: $US36.5 billion

Year-to-date return: +65.7%

Description: Hydrocarbon exploration


Chipotle Mexican Grill

Ticker: CMG

Market cap: $US20.1 billion

Year-to-date return: +67.5%

Description: Fast-casual burrito chain


Coty Inc

Ticker: COTY

Market cap: $US10.2 billion

Year-to-date return: +104.7%

Description: Manufactures, markets, and distributes fragrances, cosmetics and hair-care products


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