Market Overview

5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks Of 2015

5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks Of 2015
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It’s hard to believe that we’ve already reached the halfway mark of 2015. The stock market has certainly had its fair share of winners and losers during the past six months.

Here’s a look at the five top-performing S&P 500 stocks during the first half of 2015. Editor's note: This story was written as of the July 1 closing price.

5. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA): +44.6 percent

Mizuho analyst Neil Doshi recently praised the company’s solid slate of games, including "Battlefront," "Mirror’s Edge" and "Star Wars Battlefront." The stock is up nearly 45 percent this year, but many analysts believe that EA has more good times ahead in the second half of the year.

4. Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP): +45.1 percent

There’s no secret behind Hospira’s success in the first half of 2015. While EA shares steadily climbed throughout the past six months, more than 35 percent of Hospira’s 45.1 percent gain in the first half of this year came on the day that Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) announced that it was buying the injectable drugs maker for $17 billion.

3. Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET): +45.8 percent

While the S&P 500 gained just 0.9 percent in the first six months of 2015, Aetna’s share price climbed nearly 46 percent. Aetna has been at the center of M&A rumors throughout most of the year, and most health insurers have had membership enrollments explode in the Obamacare era.

It was reported over the July 4 weekend that Aetna would purchase Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM) in a deal valued around $35 billion.

2. Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI): +57.5 percent

Cigna is another health insurer whose name has been the target of several M&A rumors in recent weeks. As the rumors heated up, so too did Cigna’s share price, which climbed 12.6 percent in June alone.

1. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX): +91.8 percent

Despite a price to earnings ratio of more than 170, both Netflix's business and share price seem to be unstoppable. The stock has nearly doubled this year, and the company has handily beaten earnings and subscriber estimates. Netflix’s more than 91 percent gain makes it the top performer in the entire S&P 500 for the first half of 2015.

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