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The Best and Worst Dow Stocks From 2020

·2 min read

The Dow Jones Industrial Average might have taken its lumps in 2020, but it ultimately exited the year better for the experience. The average closed out the year with a 7.3% gain, though several stocks obviously did better than that.

Others, not so much.

Apple (AAPL) was the clear leader in the clubhouse, finishing with an 82.3% total return (price plus dividends) thanks in large part to hope that the iPhone 12 would start a new iPhone "supercycle." So far, based on Wedbush channel checks, those hopes appear to be panning out.

Microsoft (MSFT, +42.5% in 2020), like many tech stocks, was resilient through the market downturn because of the necessity of its digital offerings amid a shift to workers having to work from home. And Nike (NKE, +41.0% in 2020) recovered much more vigorously than many other apparel stocks thanks in large part to success in its digital direct-to-consumer offerings.

And while COVID-19 would seem like a boon to pharmacy stocks such as Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA, -29.4% in 2020), that wasn't the case. Increased cleaning costs, an uptake in lower-margin goods and a staggering decline in foot traffic to its U.K. Boots stores weighed on shares. So too did Amazon.com's (AMZN) official November announcement of a full-service online service, Amazon Pharmacy.

The worst Dow stock of 2020, however, was Boeing (BA, -33.9% in 2020), which started the year still struggling to get its 737-Max aircraft line back in the air after a pair of high-profile crashes. It struggled further still after COVID caused widespread global flight cancellations and crushed demand for air travel once flights were allowed to resume.

You can check out the table below for a full look at the best and worst Dow performers in 2020, based on their total returns. Data and table provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Table showing individual performance of every Dow Jones Industrial Average component.
Table showing individual performance of every Dow Jones Industrial Average component.