With just six trading days left in the year, Benzinga looked at which stocks performed the best leading to the end of 2021, with each stock on the list surging more than 15%.
Before getting into the list, note that the markets are not in the same position as last year.
Stocks ended 2021 lower following a record-breaking year that was achieved despite the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.78 points, or 0.16%, to 36,338.30. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.26% to close the year at 4,766.18. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.61% to 15,644.97.
The month ended with gains for all three indices. The Dow posted its fifth consecutive monthly gain in December 2021 and the Nasdaq had a six-month winning streak.
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The major averages recorded double-digit gains in 2021 as the global economy started to recover from the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns and the Federal Reserve continued to maintain the supporting policies that were initially put in place at the start of the pandemic.
Times have changed.
In 2022, two major market catalysts have weighed on stocks throughout the year and remained front and center in December: inflation and interest rates.
The Fed embarked on a months-long journey to stave inflation that has marred the U.S. economy, with each interest rate hike sending a shock to stocks.
Recent consumer price index (CPI) data showed a gain of 7.1% year over year in November, down from its peak of 9.1% in June but still well above the Fed’s long-term targets.
The Fed is at a turning point in its fight against inflation and the coming months will determine whether it can steer the U.S. economy toward a "soft landing," that is, control inflation without igniting a recession.
The U.S. housing market has dramatically weakened recently while manufacturing output has decreased. Investors are growing more anxious that a recession might be approaching as consumer confidence is deteriorating.
The tenacity of the U.S. labor market has thus far been the most persuasive proof that a soft landing may be feasible. In October, the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs, more than the 205,000 jobs predicted by economists, according to the Labor Department.
But the pace of job growth has slowed significantly since the first months of 2022 when the economy was regularly adding more than 500,000 jobs per month.
Now that the 2022 stage is set, let’s take a look at which stocks ran up into the end of 2021, with data supported by Benzinga Pro.
From Dec. 21 to Dec 31:
- Xpeng Inc - ADR XPEV gained 27.61%
- Hertz Global Holdings Inc HTZ gained 19.68%
- Samsara Inc IOT gained 18.01%
- Globant SA GLOB gained 17.47%
- Tesla Inc TSLA gained 17.43%
- Confluent Inc CFLT gained 17%
- Godaddy Inc GDDY gained 16.81%
- Western Digital Corp WDC gained 16.65%
- Olaplex Holdings Inc OLPX gained 16.24%
- Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN gained 15.24%
The chances of those same stocks performing that well this year are slim, as U.S. markets face multiple headwinds. These include concerns of a potential recession, higher interest rates for a longer period of time and dampening sentiment that can keep stocks lower.
Photo: NEXPIX via Shutterstock
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