Top Stocks Have Dominated Since the Start of the Decade-Long Bull Market

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The weekend of March 9, 2019, will market the 10th anniversary of the current bull market. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both put in double-digit gains in early 2019, before the most recent selling, but all the major equity indexes were up exponentially higher since the V-bottom in 2009 and the day that the current bull market started on.

When pegging a bottom of the stock market in 2009, it’s important to consider your indexes. Most investors and financial publications refer to March 9, 2009, as the day that stocks bottomed out.

March 9 was the lowest close for the S&P 500 of 676.53, but the big V-bottom intraday low was on Friday, March 6, at 666.79, with a close of 683.38. The Dow had a low close of 6,547.05 on March 9, but the intraday low of 6,469.95 was seen on March 6 with a close of 6,626.94.

Where things get interesting is in evaluating the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index. The March 9, 2009, close of 1,268.64 was lower than the March 6 close of 1,293.85, and it was barely above the intraday low on March 6 of 1,268.54. These were just under the November 21, 2008, intraday low of 1,295.48 and the November 20, 2008, low close of 1,316.12. This number should just be rounded to 1,300 for simplification. The Nasdaq Composite already had reached 1,700 by the end of April.

As of Friday, March 8, 2019, the Dow was at 25,300, for a 289% gain from the lows. The S&P 500 was at 2,735, for a gain of about 310% and the Nasdaq Composite’s 7,365 indicated a gain of more than 465%. Many investors would be happy for gains of that size to come in a lifetime, let alone a decade.

24/7 Wall St. has provided a review of the top stocks in the market to show just how well some of them have done. These have all outperformed the broader indexes, but some of them have outperformed the indexes exponentially.

Here is a quick look at a handful of the largest companies and most desirable stocks of today have performed since the start of the 10-year old bull market.

Amazon Up 2,500%

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) had been under $50 during part of January 2009, but the March 9, 2009, closing price was $60.49. Its shares more than doubled to $134.52 by the end of 2009, but that’s nothing compared to the $1,600 in 2019. If you just use the March 9, 2009, level it’s a gain of better 2,560%. Over that time, Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest man on paper.

Apple Up 1,300%

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was at a price of $12.19, or actually down at $8.13 on a dividend-adjusted basis, on March 6. Its adjusted closing price of $7.92 was the close on March 9, 2009. Apple shares were then at $15 (unadjusted) by March 24 and back up at $20 (unadjusted) by June 1. Using an adjusted $12 price at the lows compares to a current price of $172. Despite the gain in Mac and launches of the iPad and the Apple Watch, Microsoft remains a story about the iPhone.

Bank of America Up Over 600%

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was the poster child of saved banks as it had acquired the Nationwide mortgage giant. Its shares closed at $3.75 on March 9, 2009, but had reached almost $7.00 a week later, and it closed at around $15 by the end of 2009. With shares at $28.50 ahead of the 10-year anniversary since the V-bottom, that’s a gain of 660%, without even considering that the bank is back to paying dividends again. Bank of America ran into additional trouble shortly after the end of the recession, but now Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have a massive stake.