Market Overview

The Best And Worst Stocks Of 2018

The Best And Worst Stocks Of 2018

The S&P 500 delivered its worst year in a decade in 2018, finishing the year down about 9 percent. Most U.S. investors had a lot of losers in their portfolios this year, but there were plenty of winners mixed in as well.

Here’s a look at the 10 best-performing stocks in the entire S&P 500 in 2018. Prices as of the Dec. 28 close.

1. Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ: FOSL)

If the S&P 500’s 2018 performance was nearly the mirror image of its strong 2017, the fact that the top-performing stock in the index this year was its second worst-performing stock in 2017 is fitting. The age of the smart watch hasn’t been kind to Fossil and its investors in the past five years, but the stock’s 2018 gain of 108.3 percent demonstrates this year was the exception to the rule.

2. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD)

An impressive class of new products coupled with stumbles at Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) have some analysts calling for AMD to gain meaningful share of the server market in coming quarters. AMD’s 73.3-percent gain in 2018 is bittersweet for investors, as the stock was up more than 200 percent on the year as recently as September.


Abiomed’s 69.7-percent gain in 2018 has mostly come due to positive data from the company’s Impella heart pump. In September, the company presented data demonstrating that Impella significantly increased the survival rate of patients who suffer cardiogenic shock.

4. Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP)

Advance joins Fossil as a finalist for comeback stock of the year after being one of the 10 worst-performing stocks of 2017. Advance gained 55.9 percent in 2018, and CFRA analysts recently picked auto retailers as the likely group leaders in the industry in 2019 as well.

5. Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ: TRIP)

Online travel giant Tripadvisor has gained 55.4 percent this year. Much of the big move has been earned the old fashioned way, by consistently reporting strong quarterly earnings and raising guidance.

Related Link: Market Strategist: Here's What Matters Most For Investors In 2019

6. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG)

After three horrendous years following a series of food safety issues back in 2015, Chipotle finally got its groove back in 2018. The stock came alive when the company announced former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol would be taking over, and Chipotle finished the year up 46.7 percent.

7. Red Hat Inc (NASDAQ: RHT)

The majority of Red Hat’s 45.3-percent 2018 gain came following news of a $34-billion buyout by IBM (NYSE: IBM) in October. Red Hat stock is finishing the year at around $174, well short of IBM’s $190 buyout price — suggesting investors have a bit of doubt about the deal closing in 2019.

8. Keysight Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: KEYS)

Electronic measurement instrument company Keysight caught Wall Street off guard with the strength of its business in 2018 and impressed investors with its better-than-expected guidance. Even in a rough year for the market, Keysight stock gained 44.5 percent this year.

9. O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NYSE: ORLY)

O’Reilly joins Advance as the second auto parts stock in the 2018 top 10, gaining 42.2 percent on the year. The rise in popularity of used automobiles and the rising average age of the U.S. vehicle fleet has been good to the auto parts industry this year.

10. Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX)

A combination of earnings beats and buyout rumors is a winning recipe for any stock. Boston Scientific was never actually acquired, but the stock finished the year up 39.8 percent.

Related Link: 4 Key Areas Of The Market To Watch In 2019

Here’s a look at the 10 worst-performing stocks in the entire S&P 500 in 2018.

1. Delphi Technologies PLC (NYSE: DLPH)

Delphi is now separated from its autonomous vehicle technology business via a spin-off, and it announced the departure of its CEO along with a guidance cut back in October. With the global auto market plateauing and revenues essentially flat year-over-year, investors dumped the stock, sending it down 72.7 percent on the year.

2. L Brands Inc (NYSE: LB)

L Brands’ subsidiaries Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works can’t seem to gain traction in a dynamic modern retail environment. L Brands stock tanked 16 percent in November following an earnings miss and lackluster 2019 guidance, and shares finished the year down 57.7 percent overall.

3. Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK)

Shares of flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries took a 24-percent hit following an earnings miss back in October, and the stock never recovered. Mohawk finished the year down 57.5 percent.

4. General Electric Company (NYSE: GE)

The only thing worse than being one of the seven worst-performing stocks in the entire S&P 500 is being one of the seven worst stocks for two consecutive years. GE suffered from all the same problems in 2018 as it did in 2017, and a new management team is hoping to stop the bleeding in 2019. GE stock dropped 56.9 percent this year.

5. Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ)

Asset manager stocks have been pounded by a fundamental shift in investor behavior away from active management and toward passive funds. Unfortunately for investors, the market has marked Invesco as a relative loser even among its battered peer group, sending shares down 54.7 percent in 2018.

6. Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE: NFX)

A promising rally in oil prices in the first three quarters of 2018 quickly turned disastrous in the fourth quarter, with oil prices finishing the year down about 18 percent on the year. Newfield was the hardest-hit of all the oil and gas E&P companies this year, dropping 54.5 percent overall.

7. Perrigo Company PLC (NYSE: PRGO)

A bad year for drug company Perrigo got much worse in December when the Irish government hit the company with a $1.3-billion tax bill dating back to 2013. After plummeting 38 percent in the last month of the year, Perrigo finished 2018 down 54.2 percent.

8. Western Digital Corp (NYSE: WDC)

Despite relatively strong earnings and a historically low stock valuation, Western Digital stock dropped nearly 8 percent back in May after the company said prices in the memory market would continue to decline in coming quarters. The cyclical weakness in the memory market continued throughout the remainder of the year, and Western Digital finished 2018 down 53.8 percent.

9. Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE: AMG)

Like Invesco, Affiliated Managers Group is another victim of active money managers underperforming their benchmarks for too many years. The stock finished the year down 53.2 percent.

10. Alcoa Corp (NYSE: AA)

Steel and aluminum tariffs certainly didn’t help Alcoa investors in 2018. The S&P GSCI Aluminum Index dropped 18.6 percent in 2018. Alcoa, which was one of the 10 best-performing stocks in 2017, was one of the 10 worst in 2018, down 50.6 percent on the year.


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