The Best Stocks of 2014 Part 2: Financial, Tech, Transport, Utilities

Stocks are enjoying another stellar year in 2014. The S&P 500 Index was up 14% year-to-date right before Thanksgiving, and the bull market is now more than five and a half years old. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the best-performing sector leaders of the S&P 500.

This report is divided into two parts. The first top-performing stocks of the S&P 500 report covered basic materials, consumer goods, retail, healthcare via biotechs and drugs, healthcare devices, non-defense industrials, and defense & aerospace under industrials. This report covers the top bank, non-bank financial, video game, technology, transportation, and utility shares.

Some of the gains in the leaders may seem extreme, but consider that, even with a 14% index gain for the S&P 500, many laggards are present in each sector, as well. 24/7 Wall St. recently even published a list of ten companies that would not be saved by the bull market alone. Quite simply, those companies have serious work to do, regardless of the stock market direction.

Along with each winner by sector of the S&P 500, basic data has been included to show what got each stock to this list. We screened out the companies that were being acquired so that this list would be relevant for the future. Additional insight and an analyst’s outlook were also provided to help see what to expect in 2015.

Wells Fargo
Financial – Bank
2014 YTD: +25%
Stock Price: $54.00
Market Cap: $280 Billion

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is now considered the safest of the money-center banks, edging out J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) due to its trading debacles and recent high legal settlement costs. This is also Warren Buffett’s absolute favorite bank stock, although we noticed that Buffett has ceased buying it. Wells Fargo currently trades at the highest multiple against book value of the major banks. Its dividend yield is 2.6%, and there is, of course, still that hidden $30 billion gain from its stock buybacks, as we pointed out this summer. Wells Fargo has a 52-week trading range of $43.21 to $54.36 and a consensus analyst price target of $54.65.

ALSO READ: Why Everyone Loves Intel Again, Or Will In 2015

Legg Mason
Financial – Non-Bank
2014 YTD: +29%
Stock Price: $56.59
Market Cap: $6.5 Billion

Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) was considered down and out not that long ago, but that was then and this is now. The asset management firm has supposedly gained more in assets after Bill Gross left PIMCO — now with over $700 billion in assets under management. Legg Mason has a 52-week trading range of $38.15 to $56.90 and a consensus analyst price target of $52.83. The highest analyst price target is all the way up at $65.