10 best, 10 worst U.S. stocks so far in 2016
(The following story has been updated and expanded to reflect Friday’s stock market action.)
The U.S. stock market seemed like a seesaw on some days this month, with the S&P 500 Index declining on nine of 19 trading days. The average decrease on down days was 1.64%, while the average increase on up days was 0.98%.
The total return for the benchmark S&P 500SPX,+0.17% with dividends reinvested, is a negative 5% so far this year, while the price of West Texas crude oilUS:CLH6 has sunk 9.2%, dragging down energy-company stocks.
The S&P 500 had its biggest gain of the year on Friday, when it rose 2.5%. The price of oil increased 1.6%, gaining 6.9% over the previous four trading sessions as investors “priced in” their expectations that Russia and members of OPEC would finally begin cutting production to support higher prices.
A catalyst for stocks Friday was the Bank of Japan’s decision to cut the interest rate on excess reserves deposited by banks to minus 0.1%. William Watts explained what the decision means for investors.
While the U.S. economy continues to grow, the fourth-quarter estimated annualized growth rate of only 0.7% was worrisome, while a 2.4% growth rate for all of 2015 matched that of 2014. On an annual basis, the economy hasn’t expanded at a rate higher than 3% since 2005. This is, of course, not great news. However, investors who fear rising U.S. interest rates may have been soothed.
The biggest question for investors is one that wraps everything up: Have we seen a bottom for oil prices? A sustained price increase would ease fears over slowing economies around the world, especially China, as well as overall demand for commodities.
Here are the 10 S&P 500 stocks with the largest declines during January 2016:
|Company||Ticker||Industry||Total return - YTD through Jan. 29||Total return - 2015||Price decline from 12-month closing high|
|Ensco PLC||ESV,-1.81%||Contract Drilling||-36%||-47%||-69%|
|United Rentals Inc.||URI,-1.43%||Finance/ Rental/ Leasing||-34%||-29%||-55%|
|BorgWarner Inc.||WRK,-3.07%BWA,+2.42%||Auto Parts: OEM||-32%||-21%||-53%|
|Freeport McMoRan Inc.||FCX,-1.06%||Precious Metals||-32%||-70%||-81%|
|Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.||VRTX,+0.72%||Biotechnology||-28%||6%||-36%|
|Alliance Data Systems Corp.||ADS,+1.57%||Data Processing Services||-28%||-3%||-36%|
|AutoNation Inc.||AN,+1.81%||Auto Dealers||-28%||-1%||-35%|
|CF Industries Holdings Inc.||CF,+1.76%||Chemicals: Agricultural||-26%||-24%||-56%|
|Owens-Illinois Inc.||OI,-0.87%||Containers/ Packaging||-26%||-35%||-53%|
To illustrate just how big a day Friday was for U.S. stocks, three names dropped from the above list, when it was updated to reflect Friday’s closing prices. Micron Technology Inc.MU,+1.61% saw its shares rise by 11.6%, while WestRock Co.WRK,-3.07% was up 11.5%, and Chesapeake Energy Corp.CHK,+0.33% rose 7.3%. The easiest explanation for why these three rose so much yesterday is that they had already fallen by so much this year and last.
And here are the 10 S&P 500 stocks with the highest total returns in 2016:
|Company||Ticker||Industry||Total return - YTD through Jan. 29||Total return - 2015||Price decline from 12-month high|
|Southwestern Energy Co.||SWN,+0.81%||Oil and Gas Production||25%||-74%||-70%|
|Range Resources Corp.||RRC,+0.10%||Oil and Gas Production||20%||-54%||-54%|
|EQT Corp.||EQT,-0.29%||Oil and Gas Production||18%||-31%||-33%|
|Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.||COG,-0.04%||Oil and Gas Production||17%||-40%||-41%|
|Macy’s Inc.||M,+1.51%||Department Stores||16%||-45%||-44%|
|Spectra Energy Corp.||SE,-0.77%||Gas Distributors||15%||-31%||-28%|
|Coach Inc.||COH,+0.66%||Apparel/ Footwear Retail||13%||-9%||-15%|
|Kinder Morgan Inc. Class P||KMI,-0.09%||Oil & Gas Pipelines||11%||-63%||-63%|
|Hasbro Inc.||HAS,+0.88%||Recreational Products||11%||26%||-11%|
|Newmont Mining Corp.||NEM,-1.49%||Precious Metals||11%||-4%||-28%|
Also see: 10 oil companies that will thrive as crude prices rebound
- These earnings suggest we may be headed for recession
- Crude prices rise as investors weigh prospect of coordinated output cuts
- How to interpret your fund manager’s double-talk about poor returns