Top-Performing S&P 500 Stocks Already Showing Gains of 30% to 50% in 2017

Print Email

With eight days of selling in the broader stock market, a feat not recorded since 2011, many investors may be worried that the Trump-bump post-election rally might be over. Time will show the verdict there, but there are many stocks that have surged in 2017.

24/7 Wall St. tracked the best performing members of the S&P 500 Index on a year-to-date basis. It turns out that seven of the 500 stocks have gains of between 30% and 50%. That’s no small potatoes.

We have added color on each gain here from FINVIZ, with consensus analyst target data and trading history from Thomson Reuters. Current prices were shown as of Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) hasn’t held a memorable position on the leaderboard of S&P 500 stocks in quite some time. Despite a 1% drop on Tuesday, NRG was the best performer of the S&P 500, with a 48% gain so far in 2017. A potential buyout may be driving the interest.

Shares of NRG were last seen down 1% at $18.00 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $20.36 and a 52-week trading range of $9.84 to $18.56.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) is currently the second best performing member of the S&P 500 in 2017, with a gain of 39%. While biotech has been making a comeback, the speculation here is that Gilead or another biotech or pharmaceutical giant might want to acquire the company. Revenue is expected to rise almost 150% from $1.1 billion in 2016 to $2.6 billion in 2020.

Shares of Incyte were trading flat at $139.76. The consensus price target is $144.53, and the 52-week range is $67.52 to $153.15.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) has been a leader in video games for some time, and the stay-at-home-on-the-couch theme may be helping further. Its shares are up about 36% so far in 2017, making it the third best S&P 500 stock. Even with peaking fears having been seen in February, Activision Blizzard still kept marching higher.

Activision Blizzard shares were trading at $49.28, in a 52-week range of $32.25 to $49.78. The consensus price target is $50.89.

Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) keeps driving down the cost of mapping and sequencing your genome. The stock ran into earnings trouble throughout 2016, but it is currently the fourth best S&P 500 stock of 2017 with a gain of 34%.

Illumina was recently trading flat at $172.15. The stock has a 52-week range of $119.37 to $186.88 and a consensus price target of $158.76.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) had enjoyed a serious recovery from the woes of Macau in the past year or two. It is currently the fifth best performing S&P 500 stock so far in 2017 with a 33% gain, and it only helps that the Oakland Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas. Despite being at 52-week highs, this is still less than half of its peak share price in 2014.

Wynn’s shares were traded at $114.65. The consensus price target is $108.88, and the 52-week range is $82.51 to $116.19.

IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX) was last seen at number six in the S&P 500 stocks so far in 2017. Its gain of 31% was perhaps aided by the announcement that IDEXX would join the Nasdaq 100. With its $13 billion market cap, one has to wonder if the company targeting companion animal veterinary, livestock and poultry, dairy and water testing markets might be attractive to other companies.

Shares of IDEXX were down 0.7% to $152.82, in a 52-week range of $75.03 to $154.57 and with a consensus price target of $124.25.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) is still south of its former highs, but the post-earnings run and subsequent analyst upgrades have helped Micron be the seventh best S&P 500 stock so far in 2017. Its gain on last look was about 31%. And who said that DRAM and flash memory was a lousy business?

Micron traded up about 0.1% to $28.80 on Tuesday. Its 52-week range is $9.35 to $29.87, and the consensus analyst target is $38.63.