These are the best performing Nasdaq and S&P 500 stocks of 2020

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This has been an incredible year for the stock market as the broad indexes crashed in March, only to roar back as unprecedented stimulus from the federal government and the Federal Reserve drove a tremendous amount of money into equities, even as the economy was reeling.

Below are lists of 2020’s winners among components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.08%, S&P 500 SPX, +0.17%  and Nasdaq-100 NDX, +0.38%  indexes.

First, some honorable mentions, plus Tesla and a warning

Before going to the broad indexes, it’s important to note that many of this year’s highest flyers aren’t part of the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq-100 Index — or at least not yet. For the Nasdaq-100, it takes time to rebalance the index to bring the largest companies in the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.04%  into the smaller subset. Here’s a list of 15 stocks that aren’t yet included in SPX or NDX but have at least doubled during 2020.

To gain entry to the S&P 500, a company’s “most recent quarter’s earnings and the sum of its trailing four consecutive quarters’ earnings must be positive” and it must also meet other requirements, according to S&P Global.

Tesla Inc. TSLA, -0.07%  met the bill and was added to the S&P 500 on Dec. 21, after the stock had skyrocketed 731% by then. The electric vehicle maker tops the lists of the year’s S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 winners below.

But Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500 following five quarters of positive earnings raises what may be a red flag for some investors. In a note to clients on Dec. 24, Jefferies analyst Christopher Wood pointed out that when Tesla was added to the S&P, its market capitalization was greater than the combined stock-market values of Toyota, Volkswagen VOW, -0.23%   VWAGY, -0.12%, General Motors Co. GM, +0.30%, Ford Motor Co. F, -0.17%, Honda Motor Co. HMC, -0.58%  and Nissan Motor Co. NSANY, +2.83%. Wood added that all those firms were “busy spending serious amounts of money in electric vehicles, lured by various incentives, be they subsides or fines.”

Here’s the kicker: Wood wrote that as far as he could tell, “Tesla only generates profits at present by selling tax credits,” which are payments to Tesla by other auto manufacturers who make too few electric vehicles to satisfy regulators. Wood continued: “So in this respect, as noted in an excellent article in The Wall Street Journal in August, the irony is that Tesla is worth more than most of the industry it relies on for the subsidies that are the only reason it has been able to report five consecutive quarters of profits.” (The italics are mine.)

More on Tesla and credits:Tesla plays smoke and mirrors with profits again

Next, the FAANGs

Perhaps surprisingly, none of the high-profile FAANG stocks — Facebook Inc. FB, +1.05%, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +1.28%, Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.16%, Netflix Inc. NFLX, +2.47% and Google holding company Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -0.27% GOOG, -0.17% — made the S&P 500 list of 20 best performers.

However, Amazon and Apple made the list of top 20 Nasdaq-100 performers, and Apple topped the the Dow 30 components. Here’s how the other FAANGs have performed through Dec. 28:

• Facebook climbed 32%.

• Netflix soared 60%.

• Alphabet’s Class C shares jumped 33%, while the Class A shares gained 32%.

Best-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2020

The S&P 500 has risen 15.6% this year through Dec. 28. Here are the 20 components of the benchmark index that have shown the biggest gains:

Company Ticker  Industry  Price change – 2020
 Tesla Inc.  TSLA, -0.07%    Motor Vehicles  693%
 Etsy Inc.  ETSY, -0.14%    Miscellaneous Commercial Services  302%
 Nvidia Corp.  NVDA, +0.92%    Semiconductors  119%
 PayPal Holdings Inc.  PYPL, -0.47%    Data Processing Services  118%
 L Brands Inc.  LB, -4.43%    Apparel/Footwear Retail  114%
 Albemarle Corp.  ALB, -0.88%    Chemicals: Specialty  105%
 Advanced Micro Devices Inc.  AMD, -0.21%    Semiconductors  100%
 Cadence Design Systems Inc.  CDNS, -0.34%    Software  94%
 ServiceNow Inc.  NOW, +0.71%    Information Technology Services  93%
 Idexx Laboratories Inc.  IDXX, +0.39%    Medical Specialties  89%
 Freeport-McMoRan Inc.  FCX, +0.65%    Other Metals/Minerals  88%
 Align Technology Inc.  ALGN, -0.17%    Medical Specialties  87%
 Apple Inc.  AAPL, +0.16%    Telecommunications Equipment  86%
 West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.  WST, -0.11%    Medical Specialties  85%
 Synopsys Inc.  SNPS, -0.77%    Software  84%
 Abiomed Inc.  ABMD, +4.28%    Medical Specialties  83%
 Catalent Inc.  CTLT, -0.54%    Pharmaceuticals: Other  83%
 Amazon.com Inc.  AMZN, +1.28%    Internet Retail  78%
 Rollins Inc.  ROL, -0.33%    Other Consumer Services  76%
 Paycom Software Inc.  PAYC, -2.91%    Software  75%

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage, profiles, price ratios, ratings and charts.

Nasdaq-100

The Nasdaq-100 has leapt a whopping 47% in 2020, while the full Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 43.8%. Like the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 are weighted by market capitalization, which means big tech names have driven the indexes’ strong performance.

Here are this year’s 20 best-performing stocks among the Nasdaq-100:

Company Ticker  Industry  Price change – 2020
 Tesla Inc.  TSLA, -0.07%    Motor Vehicles  693%
 Moderna Inc.  MRNA, +2.15%    Biotechnology  470%
 Peloton Interactive Inc. Class A  PTON, -1.04%    Other Consumer Services  436%
 Zoom Video Communications Inc. Class A  ZM, +0.67%    Software  416%
 Pinduoduo Inc. ADR Class A  PDD, +11.23%    Internet Retail  280%
 DocuSign Inc.  DOCU, +1.26%    Software  209%
 MercadoLibre Inc.  MELI, -0.01%    Internet Software/Services  191%
 Okta Inc. Class A  OKTA, +0.51%    Software  128%
 Nvidia Corp.  NVDA, +0.92%    Semiconductors  119%
 PayPal Holdings Inc.  PYPL, -0.47%    Data Processing Services  118%
 Advanced Micro Devices Inc.  AMD, -0.21%    Semiconductors  100%
 Cadence Design Systems Inc.  CDNS, -0.34%    Software  94%
 Atlassian Corp. PLC Class A  TEAM, +0.36%    Software  93%
 Idexx Laboratories Inc.  IDXX, +0.39%    Medical Specialties  89%
 Align Technology Inc.  ALGN, -0.17%    Medical Specialties  87%
 Apple Inc.  AAPL, +0.16%    Telecommunications Equipment  86%
 Synopsys Inc.  SNPS, -0.77%    Software  84%
 Amazon.com Inc.  AMZN, +1.28%    Internet Retail  78%
 Marvell Technology Group Ltd.  MRVL, -0.77%    Semiconductors  77%
 T-Mobile US Inc.  TMUS, -0.53%    Wireless Telecommunications  70%
Source: FactSet
The good old Dow

By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen a relatively paltry 6.8% in 2020. Three changes were made to the 30-stock index on Aug: 31:

• Salesforce.com Inc. CRM, -0.77%  was added to the Dow, replacing Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, .

• Honewell International Inc. HON, -0.60%  replaced Raytheon Technologies Corp. RTX, -0.35%.

• Amgen Inc. AMGN, +1.79%  replaced Pfizer Inc. PFE, +0.47%.

Here’s how all 30 current components of the Dow have performed in 2020:

Company Ticker  Industry  Price change – 2020
Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.16%    Telecommunications Equipment  86%
Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.34%    Software  43%
Nike Inc. Class B NKE, -0.12%    Apparel/Footwear  41%
Salesforce.com Inc. CRM, -0.77%    Software  38%
Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.94%    Cable/Satellite TV  24%
Home Depot Inc. HD, -0.55%    Home Improvement Chains  23%
Walmart Inc. WMT, -0.60%    Food Retail  22%
Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -0.41%    Trucks/Construction/Farm Machinery  21%
Honeywell International Inc. HON, -0.60%    Industrial Conglomerates  19%
UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, +0.88%    Managed Health Care  18%
Visa Inc. Class A V, +0.88%    Finance/Rental/Leasing  13%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, -0.66%    Investment Banks/Brokers  13%
Procter & Gamble Co. PG, +0.34%    Household/Personal Care  11%
McDonald’s Corp. MCD, -0.34%    Restaurants  8%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +0.54%    Pharmaceuticals: Major  5%
Travelers Cos. Inc. TRV, -0.06%    Multi-Line Insurance  2%
Dow Inc. DOW, +0.79%    Chemicals: Specialty  -1%
3M Co. MMM, -0.18%    Industrial Conglomerates  -1%
Coca-Cola Co. KO, -0.05%    Beverages: Non-Alcoholic  -2%
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, -0.31%    Major Telecommunications  -4%
American Express Co. AXP, -0.03%    Finance/Rental/Leasing  -5%
Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, -0.29%    Information Technology Services  -6%
International Business Machines Corp. IBM, -0.22%    Information Technology Services  -7%
Amgen Inc. AMGN, +1.79%    Biotechnology  -7%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, -0.00%    Major Banks  -10%
Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, +0.63%    Pharmaceuticals: Major  -12%
Intel Corp. INTC, -0.36%    Semiconductors  -21%
Chevron Corp. CVX,    Integrated Oil  -30%
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA, -0.10%    Drugstore Chains  -33%
Boeing Co. BA, +1.38%    Aerospace & Defense  -34%
Source: FactSet

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