Oil And Energy Leads Way: These Were The Top 10 S&P 500 Stocks In First Half Of 2022

Zinger Key Points
  • The S&P 500 was down 20.8% in the first half of 2022, its worst start to a year since 1970.
  • Among the year-to-date gainers, oil stocks in the S&P 500 Index stood out.

The S&P 500 closed the month of June posting the worst half of a year since 1970 and the worst quarter since the first quarter of 2020, a period that included the official declaration of COVID-19 being a pandemic.

While the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was down 20.8% in the first half of 2022, there were a number of stocks that saw positive gains year-to-date. Here’s a look at the top 10 performers in the first half of 2022.

  • Occidental Petroleum OXY: +103.1%
  • Hess Corporation HES: +43.1%
  • Valero Energy VLO: +41.5%
  • ExxonMobil XOM: +40.0%
  • Haliburton Company HAL: +37.1% 
  • Marathon Oil MRO: +36.9%
  • Coterra Energy CTRA: +35.7%
  • McKesson Corporation MCK: +31.2%
  • APA Corporation APA: +29.8%
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation MPC: +28.5%

Related Link: What Do They Know That We Don't? Institutions Just Bet $18 Million On The U.S. Oil Fund Via Dark Pools

What Happened: As the list shows, oil and energy related stocks had a strong first half in 2022. The Russia-Ukraine conflict led to higher prices being paid for barrels of oil, something that energy companies saw as a positive in the first half of the year.

Many investors also saw technology companies and high growth names getting hit and looked for value stocks. Oil and energy stocks often are considered value with lower price to earnings multiples and dividend yields.

Occidental Petroleum led the way with more than a 100% gain in the first half of 2022. The stock was recently in the spotlight again with Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) boosting its stake in the company to 16.3%.

McKesson Corporation bucked the trend of energy names, placing eighth on the list with a 31% gain in the first half. The wholesaler of pharmaceutical products for hospitals, healthcare providers and pharmacies posted two quarters that showed year-over-year revenue gains and beat Street estimates.

On the flip side, several S&P 500 stocks saw drops of more than 60% in the first half of 2022. Here were the biggest decliners year-to-date:

Netflix Inc NFLX: -71.0%

Etsy ETSY: -66.6%

Align Technology ALGN: -64.0%

PayPal Holdings PYPL: -63.0%

Bath & Body Works BBWI: -61.4%

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