As 2019 unfolds, one question is likely on most investors’ minds: Is the bull market that began in March 2009 dead, or can it find its footing on less stable ground?
Last year brought on major waves of volatility, and the Dow Jones industrial average posted its worst December since the Great Depression year of 1931. With this much uncertainty, equity investors might think it is time to throw in the towel.
The index closed the year at 23,327.46, down 5.6% in 2018, while in 2017 it finished up about 25%. Similarly, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished 2018 down 6.2%, after gaining more than 19% the previous year. An alternative calculation for the Dow, represented by the so-called Diamonds ETF (DIA), in an effort to include the ever-important dividends, lost 7.4% in 2018.
Asking whether the bull market is dead will not yield any clear answers. Each year 24/7 Wall St. conducts an annual review of the 30 Dow stocks to forecast how the market as a whole would perform in the year ahead. Here’s the first progress report of 2019 thus far.
Financial stocks are occupying some of the top spots in the Dow in just the first few weeks of 2019. Goldman Sachs currently sits at the number one spot and earned this rank the old-fashioned way — earnings. It beat Wall Street’s expectations handily, and its equities operations were the primary engine of improved performance, despite late-year drops in the market. United Tech and Big Blue also claimed tops spots this way as well.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical stocks are at the bottom of the list. While they had an overall strong 2018, this year is proving to be much more difficult, as analysts are seeing less upside in general. Not to mention, the iPhone juggernaut Apple is finding itself at the bottom of the list as well after having to face falling iPhone sales.
24/7 Wall St. has ranked these Dow stocks on their performance thus far in 2019, as of Wednesday’s closing price. We have added in some additional color on these companies as well.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) shares are up 17.9% year to date, given Wednesday’s closing price of $196.90. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $151.70 to $275.31.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) shares closed Wednesday at $132.89. This puts Big Blue shares up 16.9% year to date. The stock has a 52-week range of $105.94 to $168.72.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) shares most recently closed at $358.61, putting the stock up 11.2% year to date. Boeing shares have a 52-week range of $292.47 to $394.28.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) shares are up 9.9% year to date, after closing most recently at $117.04. The stock has a 52-week range of $100.48 to $114.15.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) shares are up 8.6% year to date, given the most recent closing price of $80.50. The 52-week range is $62.09 to $86.04.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) shares are up 7.2% in 2019 and the most recent closing price is $267.02. The stock has a 52-week range of $208.48 to $287.94.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) shares are up 6.0% year to date. Wednesday’s closing price is $98.71. Shares have changed hands between $81.78 and $109.98 in the past year.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) shares are up 5.5% year to date, and the most recent closing price is $56.43. The stock has a 52-week range of $48.89 to $77.08.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) shares are up 5.2% year to date. Wednesday’s closing price of $102.68 compares with a 52-week range of $91.11 to $119.33.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) shares are up 5.1% in 2019, given the most recent closing price of $106.71. The 52-week range is $83.83 to $116.18.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) shares closed Wednesday at $71.71. This puts Walgreens shares up 5.0% year to date. The stock has a 52-week range of $59.07 to $86.31.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) shares most recently closed at $45.46, so the stock is up 4.9% year to date. Cisco shares have a 52-week range of $37.35 to $49.47.