Netflix leads this year's S&P 500 index gainers

Netflix leads this year's S&P 500 index gainers; J.C. Penney drops the most so far

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Standard & Poor's 500 index has closed above 1,800 for the first time and is up 27 percent this year. The index, which is made up of 500 large companies, includes some big winners and losers. The following is a list of the three biggest gainers and the three biggest decliners so far in 2013.

The Winners:

— Netflix: The video streaming and DVD rental company is playing well with investors. Its stock has jumped 276 percent this year and hit a 52-week high of $389 in October, when its earnings quadrupled and it added 1.3 million more U.S. subscribers. Netflix is increasingly viewed as a TV network with hit original programming that can siphon away viewers from HBO and other rivals. Shares closed at $347.85 Friday.

— Best Buy: The electronics retailer is turning itself around under new CEO Hubert Joly. The stock is up 232 percent this year after shuttering underperforming stores and revamping others to offset tough competition. It has also instituted a price-matching policy, opened more in-store areas for brands such as Apple and Samsung and invested more in employee training. Last December, Best Buy languished at $11, now it's almost $40. Shares closed at $39.37 Friday.

— Micron Technology: The chipmaker is getting a memory boost. The stock is up 219 percent this year. Its chips, found in computers, cars and mobile devices, are benefiting from consolidation in the industry. In July, it completed an acquisition of Japan's Elpida Memory Inc., which helped boost its fiscal fourth-quarter results. Revenue for that quarter, which ended in August, jumped 45 percent. Shares closed at a 52-week high of $20.19 Friday.

The Losers:

— J.C. Penney: The beleaguered retailer has shown flashes of life lately, but it's still the biggest percentage loser on the S&P 500 index, with a drop of 55 percent this year. The company began its downward spiral during an ill-fated transformation strategy under former CEO Ron Johnson, who was fired in April after 17 months on the job. Now, experts say investors are encouraged that Mike Ullman, who took the top job after having led the retailer for seven years before, is beginning to stabilize the business. Shares closed at $8.87 Friday.

— Newmont Mining: Things aren't so golden for Newmont. The miner is coping with dropping gold prices and its stock is off 45 percent in 2013. Gold prices peaked in 2011 and have fallen sharply this year. Newmont's revenue in the third quarter slid 20 percent. Shares closed at $25.74 Friday.

— Cliffs Natural Resources: Miners have been hit hard this year by Europe's economic struggles and questions about China's growth. Cleveland-based mining company Cliffs has managed to lower costs but its stock is still down 33 percent. Cheap natural gas has depressed coal prices at home. Shares closed at $26.04 Friday.

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