S&P 500, Nasdaq Dabble in Bull-Market Territory: What Are 'The Big 5 Stocks' Pulling The US Stock Market Out of The Woods?

Zinger Key Points
  • 60% of Nasdaq 100's gains and 78% of S&P 500's gains in 2023 were attributable to just five stocks.
  • An equally-weighted S&P 500 index is barely positive so far this year, as big tech monopolize stock returns.

The S&P 500 index, which is tracked by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, is up 7.8% year to date, while the Nasdaq 100, tracked by the QQQ Invesco Trust Series 1 QQQ soared 19.9% this year, as AI growth and expectations on Fed rate peaking fuelled the tech overperformance. 

With a 27% gain since bottoming out in October 2022, the Nasdaq officially entered a bull market territory, while the S&P 500 came very close to the 20% rally barrier twice already — in early February and early May — but has yet to cross it.

Benzinga looked at which firms have been responsible for the rallies in both U.S. stock market indices, and found some intriguing similarities.

Nasdaq 100's Top 5 Performance Contributors In 2023: 

  • Apple Inc AAPL: The Cupertino-based iPhone maker gained 33% year so far, contributing 3.84 percentage points (ppt) to the index's overall performance.
  • Microsoft Corp. MSFT: The Washington-based tech giant rose 28.4% thus far in 2023, aided by AI-driven gains, adding 3.57ppt to the performance of the overall Nasdaq 100 index. 
  • NVIDIA Corporation NVDA: The semiconductor giant nearly doubled year-to-date, and added 3.24 percentage points to the Nasdaq 100's performance. 
  • Meta Platforms Inc META: The king of social media rose 95% this year, contributing 2.33ppt to the Nasdaq 100's gain. 
  • Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN: The internet retail giant gained 27% so far, and added 1.6ppt to the overall Nasdaq 100's performance in 2023. 
  • These five leading stock contributors account for 60% of the Nasdaq 100's total performance in 2023. 

S&P 500's Top 5 Performance Contributors In 2023: 

  • Similar to the Nasdaq 100, although with different contributions, the top five performance contributors for the S&P 500 index in 2023 are also the same companies.
  • Apple added 2ppt to the S&P 500's overall performance in 2023.
  • Microsoft contributed 1.58ppt to the S&P 500's performance. 
  • NVIDIA contributed 1.1ppt to the S&P 500's performance. 
  • Meta Platforms contributed 0.8ppt to the S&P 500's performance.
  • Amazon contributed 0.6ppt to the S&P 500's performance.
  • These five firms account for 78% of the S&P 500 index's year-to-date performance when their performance contributions are added up.

A Breathtaking Performance Gap Separates the Big 5 from the Rest of the Market

In the year so far, a weighted index made up of the top five performance contributors to the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in 2023 would have gained a staggering 53.9%.

The remainder of the market has been virtually undetectable this year, with the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF RSP increasing by a tiny 0.9%.

Read Now: "Rich Dad Poor Dad" Author Robert Kiyosaki Slams Fed, Warns About Systemic Inflation. Here's How He's Investing With Rising Prices

Photo: Shutterstock

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