Visa Inc. credit and debit cards are arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, April 22, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The S&P 500 tops 3,000. What a difference five years makes.
The S&P has moved 50% in less than five years, from 2,000 on August 26, 2014, to 3,000 on an intraday basis as of Wednesday. But the market today is radically different from 2014. Investors have played favorites in a big way.
S&P: FANG the big winners
- Amazon up 488%
- Netflix up 455%
- Microsoft up 205%
- Facebook up 164%
- Apple up 100%
Semiconductors (since 8/26/14)
- Nvidia up 728%
- AMD up 706%
- Broadcom up 264%
- Xilinx up 182%
But there’s an even broader trend. The biggest companies keep getting bigger, particularly tech-themed companies like Visa and Mastercard (fintech) as well as Cisco. There are a few non-outliers like UnitedHealth and Home Depot that have been big outperformers, but not many.
S&P winners: The big get bigger
- Visa up 231%
- Mastercard up 266%
- Cisco up 120%
- UnitedHealth up 190%
- Home Depot up 133%
Most consumer names are right in the middle of the pack.
Consumer stocks: Middle performers
- Pfizer up 51%
- Walmart up 50%
- Johnson & Johnson up 40%
- Procter & Gamble up 36%
- Coca-Cola up 25%
With a few exceptions (J.P. Morgan and Bank of America), banks have been notable underperformers.
Then there are the outright losers. Two big groups dominate. First, energy stocks are down, which is no surprise since oil was $ 100 five years ago and is now $ 60 today. The other big losing sector is retailers, which includes stocks like Macy’s and Gap.
What does it mean that a handful of big-cap tech stocks have come to dominate the market?
Howard Silverblatt, who’s been tracking the ups and downs of the S&P 500 for decades at S&P Global, says it gets down to growth: “It would be good if the rally was broader, but technology is where the growth is. Growth is hard to find, so everyone will pay up for growth wherever they can find it.”