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2020 has been a turbulent year in the stock market. In January as news stories began to emerge about a SARS-like virus in Wuhan, China the world began to keep a watchful eye on developments. However, sentiment remained calm, as many believed the virus would simmer down like the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic had done years before.
On January 22nd Donald Trump commented ‘we have it totally under control, It’s going to be just fine’. That quote didn’t age well.
Stock markets showed little volatility in January and most of February, as the virus continued to spread throughout the world. The S&P 500 which started the year on 3,257 had climbed steadily to 3,386.
Everything remained calm, until Wednesday, February 19th, when the markets began to panic. In the period between February 19th and March 23rd global stock markets dropped on average by 30%, the quickest sell-off since the great depression.
Since then, markets have (in the most part) recovered. Many investors seized the opportunity in mid-march and have made substantial gains, others panicked at the bottom of the markets and crystallised losses.
Of course, hindsight is a beautiful thing, and many of the stock markets 2020 superstars seem obvious choices. However, as UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak put it ‘there was no playbook for this situation’.
Below we look at the stocks from the NASDAQ, S&P 500, FTSE 100, EuroStoxx & Dax which have thrived in the pandemic environment.
The NASDAQ has been the top-performing stock market thus far in 2020. As the world moved from the office to the kitchen table in March, tech stocks boomed.
Top of the NASQAQ is Elon Musk’s Tesla. By far and away the top-performing stock of 2020, Tesla’s rise has been nothing but meteoric. The stock has soared an incredible 599% YTD.
At the bottom of the list on the NASDAQ is American Airlines who have sunk -48% YTD.
Spectra Energy 368%
NextEra Energy -67.87%
On the S&P 500, it’s two energy stocks which take up both spots interestingly.
Scottish Mortgage 108%
Just Eat -98.72%
On the UK’s stock market finance firm Scottish Mortgage takes the top spot by doubling its share price. Very surprisingly Just Eat, the UK based takeaway provider had an awful year on the stock market, unlike many other delivery based operations.
Nippon Light 716%
Mitsubishi Motors -62%
In Japan, Nippon light had an astonishing year as it’s share price soared 716%, Mitsubishi on the other hand, had a disappointing year as car sales slumped resulting in a 62% drop.
On the Dow Jones Industrial, the household names of Apple & Boeing took up both spots.