The first half of the year has come to a close and it’s time to do a recap of which S&P stocks did well and didn’t do so well. Various economic factors, such as the extreme weather conditions and the Obamacare launch, have affected US equity performance in the past six months.
In terms of sectors, the strongest is the utility industry, which is up by 17% for the year. Most of the gains were located in the regulated electric and natural gas distribution sectors. The S&P 500 Energy sector is up 13%, with Oil & Gas Equipment and Services rising 28%, Oil & Gas Storage and Transportation up 25% and Oil & Gas Exploration up 22%.
The sectors affected by the Obama administration’s decision to lift bans on US exports of crude oil were up by only 2% this year. These saw a boost for oil producers, but refiners suffered from soft domestic oil prices.
S&P Stocks Review
The weakest S&P sector, on the other hand, is retailing. This was most likely spurred by the sharp decline in hiring and spending for the first few months of the year, as cold weather conditions kept most Americans at home. Stocks in this sector were able to recover recently though, as the Fed expressed its commitment to keep interest rates low for an extended period.
The FOMC also decided to upgrade its employment and inflation forecasts for the year, and these might spur more spending. After all, increased confidence in the economic outlook could encourage consumers to spend.
Among the companies with the highest returns this year are Newfield Exploration Co (NFX), Nabors Industries Ltd (NBR), Forest Laboratories Inc (FRX), Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR), and Sandisk Corporation (SNDK). Among the biggest losers are Coach Inc (COH), Whole Foods Market (WFM), Staples Inc (SPLS), Bed Bath and Beyond Inc (BBBY), and Amazon (AMZN).
To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org