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5 Large Cap Stocks that Led the S&P 500 in the Bull Market

Zacks Equity Research

It’s time to celebrate the Bronze Anniversary of the bull run of the S&P 500 index. The recovery for the index from the floor it touched on Mar 9, 2009 has lasted eight years.  

This article focuses on large cap stocks that have helped the index to soar and sustain its bull run. Investors generally prefer investing in these securities as they are considered safer. 

High Points of Bronze Anniversary          

The index has come a long way, walking on the bullish path, from the rock bottom it touched on Mar 9, 2009. Eight years ago, the S&P 500 touched the bottom mark of 677 after plummeting almost 57% from the peak it reached on Oct 7, 2007.

Now the big question is, “What triggered such a downfall?” The great recession that officially lasted from Dec 2007 to Jun 2009 led the index to witness the freefall. During that time, the U.S market suffered a sharp decline in economic activity. Most importantly, the great recession is touted to be the largest downfall since the Great Depression.

Investors should know that from Mar 9, 2009, the S&P 500 has improved more than 210%. As per Wilshire Associates, the market value for U.S stocks has jumped $21.2 trillion. In fact, Howard Silverblatt – the senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices – commented that the recent eight-year duration is remarkably long and 60% more than the average bull-run span.

Bull Run Makes Trump Proud

The Bronze Anniversary of the bull-run has brightened up the early days of the Trump administration. Now, newspapers and articles are coming up with summaries covering how much the stock market has walked up since the beginning of the Trump era.

On the contrary, the Obama administration saw a pathetic start with a struggling stock market. Then the headline was how much the stock market had slipped with the inauguration of the Obama rule.

Large Caps Pushed S&P 500 in the Bull Run

Large cap players having market capitalization of more than $10 billion are among the drivers that led the S&P 500 index to celebrate Bronze Anniversary.

Large cap securities are generally considered safer than small cap stocks. More access to capital, clear operational history with a proven business model and higher trading liquidity made large cap stocks more attractive. Notably, large cap securities are considered as defensive with less volatility compared to the market.

With our proprietary screening methodology we have selected five stocks having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Those securities have also increased significantly over the last eight years and helped the S&P to fly high. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

We should disclose that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 represent those securities whose earnings estimates have been revised upward. Our analysts typically follow these firms and come up with deep insights that analysts with average analytical skills cannot imagine.

5 Solid Choices

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Los Gatos, CA, Netflix Inc. NFLX is a provider of Internet television (streaming services) and DVD–rental services. Netflix streams movies and television shows to both domestic and international subscribers who can watch them on a host of devices including television sets, computers and mobile devices.

The company with a Zacks Rank #2 has jumped 2401.2% over the last eight-year span. Netflix also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 141.35%.

Broadcom Limited AVGO is a premier designer, developer and global supplier of a broad range of semiconductor devices. It focuses on complex digital and mixed signal complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) based devices and analog III-V based products.

The company skyrocketed almost 1240% and sports a Zacks Rank #1. On top of that, Broadcom surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the last four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 5.95%.

Based in Dallas, TX, Southwest Airlines Co. LUV is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. It primarily provides short-haul, high frequency, point-to-point and low-fare services.

Southwest Airlines surged 900.5% during the bull run and carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.81%.

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Redwood City, CA, Electronic Arts Inc. EA is a leading developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of interactive games (video game software and content).

Electronic Arts improved 405% and carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 32.94% after outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the prior four quarters.

Based in Santa Monica, CA, Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI is a leading developer and publisher of console and online games.

Activision Blizzard with a Zacks Rank #2 rose 396% over the last eight years. The firm toped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the previous four quarters to deliver an average positive earnings surprise of 33.88%.

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Southwest Airlines Company (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
Broadcom Limited (AVGO): Free Stock Analysis Report
Activision Blizzard, Inc (ATVI): Free Stock Analysis Report
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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